Paper or plastic

When I get a chance to go to the grocery store; that is when Linda will let me because I bring back a lot more than what is on the list, I away grab one of the little carts. I’m not one for the little carry around kind; I’m just too lazy to lug that thing around like a lady with everything but a hammer and nails to fix anything out of place.

But I do like to push the little cart up and down the aisles, checking out all the junk food and the organic stuff, though organic is just too pricey. You know you can buy three bags of chips for the price of a pound of organic hamburger?

But by the time I get to the checkout line, there always seem to be three customers in every line. I check out the amount of groceries in each basket and like playing roulette I take my chances. I would use the self-checkout, but I always end up having to show and ID for the bottle of wine I bought and then the lines begin to move.

If I chose the short line, the one I think is the winning line, I will get right up passed the National Enquirer, standing next to the Snickers bars and Tic Tacks when the cashier bends the microphone and yells, price check. The two words you never want to here in a line at the grocery store.

Finally my groceries are on their way through the scanner, beep, beep, beep, and the bagger says paper or plastic. Now, did you know you can tell someone’s political views by the type of bag they chose at the supermarket?

If the customer chooses paper, you know he is a conservative. He says he believes in the free market and knows with recycling and tree farming, paper will never run out.

Now, the libertarian typically will say plastic because it’s made from oil and the resource lie beneath the ocean floor and the Alaska National – so it’s “drill baby drill.” Now, the ones who bring their own bags are a different sort. They are probably liberal and are old hippies who can’t leave those “we can save the earth” ideals behind.  

This is a generalization, but a survey may prove my point. Meet me at Kroger’s next Saturday and we’ll poll the politics of everyone leaving the store.

Paper, the stuff that wraps, contains and remains. It remains on sides of roadways; in your front yard and blowing across the street when a careless lawnmower man runs over a Wendy’s bag and shoots it across the street. “Aw, the wind will get it he says.”

You’ve seen the orange plastic bags stacked on corners. Those are full of trash picked up by concerned citizens, civic clubs and Boy Scouts among others, who take-on cleaning up the rubbish (and there’s a lot of it) of people carelessly tossing it out of their car or truck window. I think it is mostly younger people who don’t want to litter up their new truck with the running boards, muddin’ tires and bed covers. I’ve also seen the contents of ashtrays dumped in my yard. Do people actually think cigarette filters rot away?

I wonder if the same people who litter up the roadsides, gutters and parking lots do the same in their own yards and inside their homes. Dad sits in his Barcalounger sipping on a Bud Light, finishes it off and throws it across the room to a pile of older Buds piling up there. If they trash up the road, does the kid trash up his computer and video game console? If he spills a Coke on it and keeps working; what the heck. Can you imagine this kid’s room? Soda cans, McDonalds bags left by Chicken McNuggets.

Meanwhile Dad finishes his bag of chips he just washed down with another Bud, wads it up and tosses it in the Bud can pile.

I doubt seriously if people would treat their own house that way so why would they treat their neighborhood and community that way. It only reflects on them. I wonder if they imagine an Aunt Polly coming to their house and passing all the trash on the streets along the way. Maybe Aunt Polly doesn’t care, but when you try to sell your house, the buyer will surely figure it out. These people just don’t care.

Haven’t seen the trash I’m talking about? Stop your car, get out and walk along the side of the road and look down into the ditches. You’ll be surprised at just how junky it is.

For your sake and mine, next time you’re asked paper or plastic, think about the trash left in ditches and decide you’ll never throw another piece of trash from your car, or tell your kid it’s just not appropriate to litter up his own town.


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