Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Post in Which I use the Word Anvil

Remember, a few years back, whenever you bought enough of something at a grocery store to require a bag the cashier would ask, "Paper or plastic?" That was a symptom of the modern 'green movement' in it's infancy. Of course the public perception at the time was that plastic was convenient and paper was enviro-friendly. Personally I chose convenience, unless it was early on a Sunday and I was picking up a six-pack amongst others who were going to church... Then I tended to take the camouflage that paper offered, though I knew I was fooling nobody. It seems weird to me that paper bags have become obsolete at most commercial grocery stores, even as the environmental movement has become more prevalent. Doesn't it make sense, that the paper bag should have made the cut... As the perception of global warming has become broader? 'Paper or plastic?' is just an after thought in this modern age. That old cliche has become all but forgotten. Grocery store cashiers have a new catch phrase that they use, and it too offers you a choice. Each time I hear it, it hits me like an anvil pushed Bugs Bunny style, out of a window above me. I cringe... It floors me every time. The catch phrase I am speaking of is, "Do you want your milk in a bag?" Whatever theory some corporate monster developed as a base to requiring his employees to ask this question is beyond me. Hell... Good Will Hunting couldn't figure that out that mystery. My answer is ALWAYS yes. Milk, to me is just as equal as the other groceries... Groceries that are being sacked without question. Why would I NOT want my milk in a sack? If it were to ride in my car unbagged, then wouldn't it tend to roll all over the seat and floorboard, absorbing dirt, dog hair, and God knows what else? Milk jugs sweat when temporarily left in warm temperatures... Perspiration forms on the outside of the jug and becomes a magnet for dirt and debris. Also, milk jugs are roundish in shape... Any sudden turn of the steering wheel or a quick hit on the brakes and the jug is bouncing around the interior of the car like a pinball. Or more precisely, a bowling ball. I was at the cashier to pay for some things that I was picking up for Thanksgiving dinner, and because of the enormous bounty I was unloading onto the cashier's counter, and the stress I endured while shopping on the busiest grocery buying day of the year, my mind wasn't prepared for the dreaded and inevitable question when she asked me... "Do you want your milk in a sack?" "No." I replied, looking up at her eyes. "I want it wrapped in fish paper and stored in a cardboard box." I must have had the look of the devil because her face quickly took on a look of horror. I creeped out a smile and gave my best just kidding look. It seemed to ease the tension a bit, but the conversation wasn't nearly as friendly and automatic as it had been just a few moments earlier. "Yes, please put it in a sack," I said, maintaining my smile, "Otherwise it will be all over my car like a rogue bowling ball." She said nothing. I cant wait till that cliche' wears it self out. I am also equally afraid of what the next one will be. Paying for my groceries shouldn't be the equivalent of a mental Rubik's Cube. I shouldn't have to think about the situation all the way home, so much that it becomes a subject on this blog. I long for the day when all of my groceries will be bagged without question, and my life will become a hell of a lot easier.