Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Standing up for righteousness! (sort of)

Paper or plastic? This once was the question at your local grocery store. Then it became: Is plastic okay? Now? Now, they dont even ask! For many years I have suffered in silence as I get distracted by the bright orange tic tacs on the shelf as my groceries slide by on the conveyor belt only to look a split second later with a half stifled cry as the bagger has zipped out the plastic bags, bagging at record pace.

I distinctly remember the day when the bagger would grin sweetly, ask you for paper or plastic, and sometimes even walk your groceries to the car and help you unload! Now? You can't even get paper bagging! What is going on? Using careful sleuthing methods (i.e. my little brother a former bagger who prefers to remain anonymous) my suspicions were confirmed: The bagging by plastic sans permission was not just a coincidence. In truth my confidential source revealed this was an all out conspiracy of baggers nationwide. Instead of the old, "Paper or plastic" they were instructed by those higher up the chain to ask: Plastic okay? Thereby taking the unwary customer, distracted by (strategically placed) orange tic tacs to absentmindedly agree, or the particularly timid shopper who might infact truly desire paper but wishing to appear agreeable into saying "yes". Manipulation via subtelty at its finest.

Well ladies and gentlemen I your vanguard out to make a change for the citizens of the world can tell you that today, as the food began sliding over the scanner and into the baggers field I did not stay silent. I watched as she began reaching, pretending to be all casual, for the plastic bag, and just as her fingers touched the flimsy plastic I nonchalantly asked, "paper please" She looked at me for a full three seconds. "Excuse me?" Remaining strong, determined not to back down I stood my ground "Yes Paper. I'd like to have my groceries in paper" Our gaze met but I refused to look away, smiling I faced her in the showdown, a smile frozen upon my face. A bit dazed, she took out the paper and began bagging. As I walked out the store with three paper bags and not 20 plastic ones I felt a rush of emotion. I felt victorious. I felt triumphant. My bagging experiences would surely never be the same again.

15 comments:

Suroor said...

You are so brave, my Aisha! I'm one of those timid shoppers :( And the "confidential source" was cute :)

Well done!

mystic-soul said...

Kudos to you ! I would not have courage to confront. I googled to see impact of plastic vs paper and found this nice writeup, if you are interested

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/01/qa_retail_carry.php

Bee Amma said...

hahahaha!
You get paper option? We don't though goddamn you are so right, bags are SO irritating and baggers love putting about 1.3 items in a bag before moving on to the next one!!!!

Anonymous said...

HEY there aisha awesome blog! Can you please lemme know how to start a blog? Give detailed steps and post links if possible, I tried, but everytime I try to click on the 'publish' icon, it shows 'page unaivailable'.
Do lemme know.
cheers!

khonika said...

Congrats on being eco-friendly! Never realized there was so much scheme about this behind the scenes.

Amira said...

I didn't even know that paper bags still existed. I usually brng old plastic bags and re-use them to cut down on the # of plastic bags I consume. next time I go shopping I'm going to ask for paper... you have inspired me!

Tee said...

LOL. Good job, Aisha... I'm shy so confronting them would be really uncomfortable. Besides, I'm ashamed to admit that I need the plastic ones. I suck. I've been using them for many years - first to individually dispose of stinky diapers and now for picking up dog poop. I feel guilty about it - not that that helps the environment.

I also haven't been recycling for the past 2 years. This town we moved to doesn't have curbside service. The recycle center is down a really dangerous unpaved road and my husband told me not to go there anymore because he doesn't want me to pop a tire on something.

:p

Wil Smith said...

Speaking of righteousness.... I just read an article about a teenage girl in Iran who faces execuation for defending herself and niece from being raped. I wrote a post about it and checked Amnesty International's website to see if there was a letter campaign to try to help her. I couldn't find anything on it. Don't know if you can help but I don't know what else I can do without Amnesty's support. Here's the link to the articel if you want to check it out (http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=769245b1-e3be-41c9-ac5b-2adcda20b4d5&k=99363). Hopefully, she gets off but she has already been convicted and sentenced to death once but a new trial was ordered. If nothing else, you may be able to draw more attention to this problem as a whole. The link is to the actual article in the news. Thanks again for letting us all share in your writing. I always enjoy it immensely.

Wil Smith said...

Update to my previous comment. There is an Amnesty campaign and petition. Here is the lonk if you want to participate.
http://www.petitiononline.com/Nazanin/

As well I found a really good article on the law as it applies to this case and the religious concepts that relate to these laws. This is that link.
http://volokh.com/posts/1143702317.shtml

Thanks again.
William

Anonymous said...

heee!

momyblogR said...

Oh my goodness. You made me laugh out loud with the orange tic tacs. What is it with those things? They totally captivate my kids....I'm mean with all the items lining the shelfs in the check out line, THose are the things they are memorized by. LOL! Maybe that's why I always end up with plastic, I'm fighting off the orange tic tac demons that take over my children.

You should be very proud of yourself. Job well done and "1" for the paper people!!

shaz said...

cute :)

very brave!!

Aisha said...

Suroor lol, thanks :)

Mystic, I'll have to check that site in a minute! To be fair aside from environmental reasons, paper is just easier to carry into the home too!

BeeAmma not even an option?? That's ridiculous!

Anon, lol, um... I dont know how I can help you start a blog really... if you go to blogger.com they hav very easy step by step directions. Maybe try opening it on IE not Firefox because seomteims if you're usin the FF browser things dont work as well?I hope that helps.

Khonika I know! I mean, they do have recylcing of bags at some places but... still!!! Paper is way easier to recycle beacus the local dumpsters take it in my case..

Amira, WOW! Kudos to you for being so environmentally conscious. Mash'allah! I'm impressed.

Tee, its not worth risking a punctured tire! Also, I am not that afraid since law school to ask for things.. but I have to admit I got a little freaked out by how freaked out she got by my asking for paper. It was as though I had asked her to walk on hot coals for me.... She was visibly annoyed.

Wil, wow, well that issue is not of satirical nature. ??I am about to crash for the night so tomorrow I will post an addendum to this post with a link to the petition that is a very important issue to bring light to. Thank you for bringing my attention to it.

Mommyblogr! I know. Do your kids demand things off the goody list? I remember we drove my mom insane doing that for choc bars. The days she would give in, we felt as though we'd won the lottery! :)

Shaz, lol thanks ;)

mezba said...

Aisha, wasn't aware paper was still an option.

In Canada we have a couple of big grocery retailers that charge you extra for bags (i.e. they are not free but cost 10c a pop) so people (usually desis) recycle old bags. There are also paper cartons available for people to use.

Walmart, Sears and Dominion still use bags and we have no option.

Last time when we were in B'desh the government had banned plastic bags and everyone was using paper bags. In fact we were told by relatives to bring some plastic bags into the country as it was a novelty again!

Anonymous said...

aisha, i am not very samrt at computers really..umm so what is firefox? i went to blogger.com , and then new blogger, signed in, clicked on new post, and then wrote my msg, and then clicked review and publish, and it says' page unavailable'. i tried 'help' and followed the instructions yet it doesnt work, sorry for being a pain, but pls lemme know and thanx.

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you!