For the last eight years, Stephen Hickson, my colleague at Canterbury and all-round decent Kiwi, has played Steve-I-Am to this grouchy non-Marmite-eating Canadian.
And for years I told him I would not could not on some toast, I would not could not with some roast, and so on and so forth.
But he finally brought me around with "Would you, could you, with some cheese?" I've been an occasional Marmite eater for the last few months; Susan remains less than a fan.
And now we're running out of Marmite. Twitter is full of #marmitesongs and the #marmitecrisis.
Remember the old Cheers episode where Fraser hypnotised Woody into liking Vegge-Boy and then Vegge-Boy was cancelled? Yeah, that. I blame you, Steve-I-Am. I wouldn't have cared if you hadn't brainwashed me.
I endorsed price gouging as best way of allocating scarce remaining supplies (of course I would; predictable). Keith Ng worried about social cohesion in the face of the crisis. I suggested running a randomized control trial where we allow Marmite price gouging in some cities but rationing in others; Ng invoked Duhem:
@EricCrampton Sure, but if I lose, it just means there are too many uncontrollable variables for empirical observations to be valid.
— keith_ng (@keith_ng) March 19, 2012
And iPredict is running a contract on whether Marmite will be rationed at any of the major supermarkets. The NBR's watching the contract, perhaps fearing the economic costs of the social unrest that might come with a full Marmite apocalypse.
Stephen said at lunch that he now plans on stocking up on his way home. It's folks like him,* who profess a public spirit but will hoard in the face of crisis, that make the case for price gouging all the stronger.
Oh, and at least one person on Twitter has issued threats against those who would suggest Vegemite as acceptable substitute.
* Stephen's really a good guy; if he weren't, I'd not here tease him. I only bear him a pretend-grudge because I enjoy faux-outrage.