Love it or hate it

10 April 2012
Saint Homobonus, patron saint of procurementSt Homobonus, the patron saint of shoemakers, tailors and purchasing, has a monthly column in SM… Love it or hate it A national shortage of Marmite in New Zealand has apparently led to jars of the sandwich spread being sold online for NZ$3,500 (£1,800). Supplies started to run out in March after earthquake damage meant Sanitarium, which makes the iconic brand, had to close its Christchurch factory last year. A message on Sanitarium’s website says it is doing everything it can to minimise the length of its absence from supermarket shelves. “Don’t freak. We will be back soon!” it promises. Love it or hate it? Apparently, Kiwis love it. Egg on faces In other supply shortage news, eggs are being rationed in parts of Europe after a long-awaited animal welfare law came into force. The smallest battery hen cages have been scrapped and while some countries have spent millions to ensure they’re compliant, others have lagged behind and now have egg on their face and face a ban on egg exports. The move has left some stores having to limit the number of eggs sold. Jersey shortage While I personally can live without Marmite or eggs, there are some things I’d rather not be without and loo roll is one of them. That’s why I won’t be heading to New Jersey anytime soon. Public buildings in the capital of the US state of New Jersey face running out of toilet paper following a row. Trenton’s City Council has refused to approve a $42,000 (£26,855) contract for paper products after baulking at its $4,000 charge for paper cups designed for hot drinks. The contract has been 
voted against three times, 
most recently in January, leaving a possible toilet paper 
crisis looming. Soggy ciggies With the UK chancellor’s budget having pushed up the price of a packet of cigarettes by another 37p last month, 
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of British smokers taking drastic measures. Over in Romania, one chap has taken rather extreme action by trying to smuggle 6,000 of illegal cigarettes underwater from the Ukraine. The scuba diver and his soggy cargo, worth £12,000, were caught when 
he emerged from a river. Tighten your belt If you’re feeling rather cash-strapped yourself this month, have you considered…not eating? According to research 
by shopping website, 15 per cent of women are skipping meals to save money; one in 10 Brits are replacing lunch with free cereal and biscuits from the office; and almost half are ditching takeaway lunches in favour of making their own. Personally, I like to keep 
my blood-sugar levels up rather than fainting during 
a negotiation, which I find rather weakens one’s position. Men who mend Retailers say the ‘make do and mend’ trend is reaching guys as a growing number are picking up a needle and thread and learning how to let out the waistband on a favourite pair of chinos (helps them justify the golf club membership) and sew the buttons back on 
to a staple shirt. More manufacturers are pitching their sewing machines towards male customers, appealing to their gadget-loving side. Gleeful weapon Even if you can afford new gear, forces may be at work to stop you. I’m thinking of a shopkeeper who refused to sell a Glee pencil sharpener to a 14-year-old schoolgirl in case she used it as a weapon. Apparently, the female member of staff explained it could be “lethal” or “dangerous” in the wrong hands. Rabbiting on And finally, an interpreter says she has exposed the “ridiculous failings” of a UK supplier after managing to enroll her pet rabbit Jajo as a court translator. Czech interpreter Marie Adamova says she successfully filled in an online application for Jajo with a business that supplies linguistics services to some of the country’s courts. She set out to demonstrate the company doesn’t check the details of those who sign up. The supplier hit back by saying: “Anyone can register their interest in becoming 
an interpreter, but they are 
still required to undergo assessment, security and qualification checks before being accepted. I suspect Jajo might fail such checks.”
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