Thursday, 8 November 2012


You want me to save the planet by paying for plastic bags?
Fine. But I'm going to get my money's worth . . .

Dear grocery store clerk: I know I was a bit snippy with you yesterday. I want to apologize but I also want to explain. See, when I asked why your store still charges me for plastic bags when Toronto has scrapped the tax (Remember? That one time Mayor Rob Ford accidentally got something right?), you could have simply said, "I don't know, I'm just a teenager." 

Instead, you decided this was an opportunity to climb onto your high horse and enlighten me. 
"It's for a good cause," you said. 
"What cause, the store's profits?" I retorted. 
"No, you're saving the environment," you said. 
And that propagandic platitude is what did it.  
"No I am NOT saving the environment," I hissed. "I am still getting the goddamn bag, only now I am paying you for it instead of you giving it to me for free!" 
"Well they don't decompose," you persisted.
"Well then why are you selling them?" I said. "I'll tell you what, when Exxon Mobil stops spilling a gajillion gallons of oil into the sea and UAE airlines stops flying jets the size of Cuba hither and yon perhaps then I'll do my bit by not buying this piddling five-cent bag!" (There may even have been spittle. I actually am sorry about that part. That's just gross.)

At which point the poor bastard who agreed to come grocery shopping with me started tittering nervously and saying "Oh she doesn't mean that, she's had a bad day, she's tired, she's off her meds..." and so forth until I turned to him and said, "Don't YOU start!" and the two of you froze and looked at each other in an "Is she gonna go postal on us here?" kind of conspiracy. 

And at that point I came to my senses and realized this is not your fault. And that you looked uncomfortable. And that you are probably about 16. So for that, I apologize. But I forewarn you, I will be back next week. (Your prices really can't be beat.) And the next week. And the week after that. And every time, I will be buying the five-cent plastic bags ... and probably complaining about it. 

Editor's note: She usually comes in on Mondays. You might want to adjust your work schedule.