Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Magee Omelet

Sometimes, despite our best efforts and promising beginnings, gravity wins. I should bow to that inevitability and move on, and yet, sometimes, I can't.

Should it ever come up in conversation (not that it will, but it could (I suppose)), the number of times an egg falling through a hole in a grocery store plastic bag actually made by a six pack of soda cans that someone then placed a carton of eggs upon, will bounce on the parking lot of the grocery store is zero. You needn't ask how I know this-somethings can be taken on faith, as the Apostle Paul may have noted in a letter to Timothy, though I doubt Timothy was worried about those grocery store plastic bags. And the eggs in the parking lot (or technically, on the parking lot) were my doing.

Our children think we lie, but we don't (at least this time) when we tell them that years ago, groceries were packed by store employees in bags made of paper. Forests the size and scope of the Amazon Rain Forest were felled to produce the pulp to make those bags and Moms all across America during 'back to school' week in the fall fashioned them into protective covers for their kids' textbooks. It was, with my deepest regards to Al Gore, recycling at its finest.

I've been trying to think of something nice to say about the plastic sacks that are now the carrier of choice across grocery stores from sea to shining sea. Maybe you can, I'm having no luck at all. From the mass produced and sort-of-stuck-togetherness of them, almost impossible to separate at the register, through the notion of handles they purport to have that aren't, to their uncanny ability to hold incredible volumes and masses of items within until you are no more than three steps from your vehicle in the parking lot before letting go almost with an air of urgency, they are pure evil.

And, don't fret I contribute to the waste in the landfill by throwing them away (I can clearly see, a million years from now, cockroaches (survivors of the last nuclear war) sipping moisture drops trapped in the shards of foam cups while sleeping under the blanket of those plastic bags) because, here's the perverse part, I save the bags. When you go to IKEA, you can shop with a giant yellow bag, that you must never take from the store, but you can purchase a bag of about the same size, and of the same material (I think) that we used on the Mars probe, for your house. I took this bag to work and have filled it with grocery store plastic bags, because 'I never know when I'll need a bag.'

Except, after all this time and seventeen hundred bajillion excursions to the grocers, I have never found a use for the bags--but keep them, just in case. Since I buy stuff on impulse and at frantic-manic speed in the grocery, I'm always racing to bag the items (after wrestling a plastic bag into submission) before the self-checkout voice gets angry, meaning I rarely exercise any care in how stuff gets packed into the bags. I've dropped cans of soup onto loaves of white bread, resulting in sandwiches that resemble abstract art (especially since the cold cuts handle impact differently).

Am I pleading for a return of paper bags? Perhaps.
Or a repeal of the laws of gravity.

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings."

Somebody drop some homefries and bacon, okay?
John says he's staying for breakfast.
-bill kenny

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