Monday, January 15, 2007

Two roads diverged in a Safeway

A few days ago, I walked to the grocery store for a few dinner items with a paper bag I planned to reuse. Taking along a bag was especially important to me as I was going to a store that seems to keep its paper bags in a vault while handing out plastic bags like water. I’ve even seen the baggers at this store double-bag a single gallon of milk.

When I reached my turn at the counter, the cashier was busy chatting with a co-worker, her back turned as she absentmindedly rang up my 5 or so items and began throwing them into 7 or so plastic bags. I tried several times to get her attention to let her know I had brought my own. Finally she turned to me and laughed, graciously pulling my items back and handing them to me to bag.

“Boy,” she commiserated, “you’ve got to be careful. Those plastic bags can take over your home if you don’t watch it.”

I agreed. And then she continued: “Last time I moved, I think I found more plastic bags in my house than anything else. That’s why now, as soon as I get home I throw my plastic bags straight into the garbage.”

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