Society Has Officially Collapsed and I Can Prove It

How a visit to a supermarket confirmed everything

Philip Ogley
Published in
5 min readJun 19, 2024


Collapsing buildings
Holy Faith Demolition Sequence, Kerala, India, 2020 (Augustus Binu/Wiki Comms)

Over the weekend, I went camping to the Loire Valley, about two hours from where I live in Normandy.

My wife had a conference in the small town of Baugé-en-Anjou. A town where on 22 March 1421, Gilbert III, aided by his Scottish allies, crushed the English Army led by Thomas De Lancastre, second son of Henry IV.

But I wasn’t in Baugé for a history lesson.

I was in Baugé for a weekend break while my wife attended her seminars. And as normal, instead of taking a hotel or cottage, I camped. France has fantastic campsites that are inexpensive, generally clean, and well-kept. And as I refuse to sleep in hotel beds (ever turned over a hotel mattress?), camping suits me fine.

So there I was, preparing some lunch outside my tent in the beautiful June sunshine: bread, cheese, ham, and olives. Plus a Chauvigné Anjou 2018, a lovely local white wine from down the road. Only I wasn’t. Because, inexplicably, I had forgotten my corkscrew. I have one corkscrew and whenever I go away, I take it with me. It’s a kind of memento I like to keep with me, like a hunter likes to keep his gun by his side.