The other day, I went to the grocery store. I have done this many times over the past decades, and very few of those trips involved the express lane. When I go to the store, I make sure it's worth the inconvenience. Like a squirrel loading up on provisions for the winter, I usually make sure that I have a list, check it twice, and then have to deal with the cashiers who are either naughty, or nice.
That was my not-so-clever segue into the point of this blog. Saturday was the proverbial last straw for my patience when, for the thousandth time, I was asked if I wanted "a bag with that." Mind you, I had just bought nearly $50.00 worth of groceries. There were about nine packages in total, in a variety of sizes and room temperatures. We are not talking about a pack of tic-tacs and the TV Guide.
Thinking that the cashier was joking, I said, "of course not." Then, as I realized the youngster was not going to hand me any bags, I said "Um, I was joking. I need a bag. In fact, I need several if you can bear to part with them."
She looked me in the eye with all the weariness of the world, and handed over three plastic sacks as if she were parting with the biblical gold, frankensense and mhyrr.
I realize that the costs of production and retail have skyrocketed. I realize, too, that the environmentalists have got all of us going green, to the extent that we are now skittish about killing trees and look upon plastic as Satan.
But I am sick of the loss of common sense, particularly among the younger members of our workforce (it's usually the under 30 set that ask me if I want a bag.)
I'm thinking that the next time someone asks me if I want a bag, I'll just smile and say "why whatever makes you think I need a bag? I'll just be bundling these twenty items on my head like they do in those National Geographic photos and toting the load the ten miles home."
Of course, that might get me in trouble with subscribers to National Geographic. Tough.