Monday, October 16, 2006

Bags...

Carrier bags. There's just no consistency from retailers. Some charge, others give them to you for free. Why no blanket policy from the retail trade? Oddly, or maybe not if you understand the economics of big business (I don't), the shops that sell their produce at cheaper prices are very often those that charge you for a carrier. 3p for a bag that will leave you with just the handles if you pack anything more than a wafer thin mint within, 5p for an ever-so-slightly stronger piece of plastic. Or, if you're keen to stop spending this money weekly, 50p for a bag you can re-use for an eternity. These 50p bags are sometimes made of NASA-designed foil. But very often they're just overpriced bits of plastic with a fancier handle than the 3 and 5p models. In some stores the expensive bags are touted as an environmentally friendly option, although I thought that these days that the majority of carrier bags are bio-degradable. Aren't they? When I think about it I realise that I must be wrong. Then there's the whole "would you like any help packing your bags?" debacle that all customers have to go through, no matter how paltry the contents of their shopping basket. On Saturday, in an Asda (although this story could have happened in Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose, or Morrisson's) I dashed in for some tortilla chips, some cheesy dip and a jar of jalapeno peppers. "Would you like any help packing your bags?" "I'd hope not," I said, "I'd have to be the most pathetic individual to ask for help with three items." "We have to ask." Why? Why do you have to ask? Are you afraid of facing the wrath of the company's secret shopper? "Ethel on till number seven failed to ask me if I wanted help with packing items that would occupy a mere eigth of the space in the carrier bag. We must ask her to leave our fine retail establishmen, which prides itself on patronising customers who spend less than £5 in our store." Whatever happened to common sense? Can't you look at me, realise I have the full use of the necessary limbs required for placing a few items in a plastic bag (once I've got it open, that is) and think, "I won't ask if he needs help, he can manage."? All of which serves to make me embrace those self-check out check outs that are cropping up all over the place. Why, I need never engage with another human being ever again. Although, it's probably only a matter of time before they add some technology that asks, in a quasi-Stephen Hawking voice, if you'd like help with your packing. At which point I will launch a serious assault on the self-check out check out. I thought all of this whilst purchasing some veggie rolls and a sandwich from our favourite Deli this morning, where I was, incidentally, handed a free carrier bag which I intend to place amongst our small collection of reusable bags that live in the cupboard under the sink.

More research this morning. Am attempting to do the leg work on two different projects at the same time. Quite good; when I lose interest in one I set about the other. Helped by the fact that one is more factual than the other, thus requiring different approaches. All a bit of a mess, though, if I'm honest. Lots and lots of words and notes and books and articles, all craving a space in their respective plays. Will tell you more about the subject matter when I'm allowed, honest.

Listening: Little Man Tate - House Party at Boothy's.


3 comments:

bazza27 said...

The sign of a true literary genius has to be thinking they can get away with writing 38 lines about carrier bags, and still having readers at the end of it. Hey, you just achieved it!

Dave W said...

Aw, thanks for sticking with my sad, sorry tale Bazza! And here's me wondering why I'm not inundated with hits, eh? Did you actually count the lines?????!

bazza27 said...

'fraid so.