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Sophies’ Bag Choice

Went to Central Market (Austin grocery store) this morning. CM is now printing its paper bags with the following message:

‘I am a brown paper bag. More than likely I’ll end up under your kitchen sink with a few of my friends. I might get cut up and wrapped around an old textbook, or just stuck under something messy. It would be nice if someone made me into a kite. I’d like to be a kite. But whatever happens, I will never forget the day I carried groceries home from Central Market.’

Oh how very cute. I have enough trouble with projecting human characteristics onto inanimate objects or animals as it is. (anthropomorphising is an unecessarily long word and a bugger to pronounce). I had to stop volunteering at the Humane Society because of this. Every morning I’d have to make the choice of which poor desperate dog to take out to pee first. It was like in Sophie’s Choice, without the Nazis and a slightly reduced risk of death. Do you choose the dog that’s got its paws up against the cage, going ‘pick me, please pick me, I can’t hold it much longer’. Or the quiet one that’s lying down, staring at me, pleading silently? With accident victims it’s supposedly the quiet ones that are the most badly injured and should therefore be helped first. This isn’t necessarily the same with dogs. I learned that the quiet one may also be the one that peed all over its blanket but you just didn’t see it.

Anyway, I’d end up feeling so guilty that I’d have to come up with a little rota in my own head so I didn’t always pick the same one to go first. Then I’d calmly explain my rota system to all the dogs so they’d understand that there was no favoritism on my part.

But back to the brown paper bag nonsense. I refuse to be drawn into Central Market’s little game and have therefore composed my reply.

‘Dear brown paper bag, and friends, you’re nothing to me. I selected you over plastic because you’re slightly better at handling weight and because I have some vague and probably misguided notion about you being better for the environment. I have never considered cutting one of you up and wrapping you around a textbook, mainly because I’m not 12 or looking to be bullied. As for your kite fantasy, I’d suggest forgetting that one. Yes I know this is Austin and we do indeed have a kite festival, but you with a piece of string through your handles would be a pathetic and laughable sight. Stick with what you know.

In response to your ‘whatever happens’ comment, let me take the guess work out of that for you. You’ll hang around in the kitchen for a while until one of us decides the recycling has piled up high enough, then down to the bins to be recycled or reincarnated, depending on your belief system. Thanks for carrying the groceries home, but please understand that it really wasn’t that big a deal.’