In my city, BYOB has recently taken on a whole new meaning. Most grocery stores are now bring your own bags. As of July 1, it will be the law here. So wherever I go, I’ll be schlepping bags.
Now, I am in favour of saving the environment. If asked, “Would you prefer the Earth to be (a) a leafy oasis full of frolicking baby seals, or (b) a smouldering fire ball?” I’d answer (a) every time.
And I know that every year factories in this country spew tons of toxic gases into the air and dump oceans of non-organic waste into our water system. Clearly, the government had to act. So it decided to solve the problem by making us bring our own shopping bags to stores.
The thing is, I don’t always remember my bags. I stand in checkout lines in a cold sweat. The cashier eyes me coldly, “Do you need to buy bags?” If I say “yes,” I might as well have “Earth Hater” tattooed on my forehead.
I could pretend I have a dog. If you have a dog, buying plastic bags is not just socially acceptable it’s downright responsible. I never have dog food in my cart. Damn. I should carry decoy dog food in case of just such an emergency.
Usually, I do the only sensible thing possible. I exit the store with boxes of Pop Tarts wedged under my arms and a pot roast shoved into my purse.
I have to admit in those moments I’ve wished there were a way to tell the government how I feel about its “go after the little guy first” approach to saving the world.
Then yesterday, I saw my doctor for a checkup. She suggested that I have a sample of my … um … you know, a sample checked. “Do I go to the lab?” Her: You just put it in this envelope and mail it to a government office.
I suddenly thought, “What a wonderful country we live in.” Do you think people living under communist regimes are allowed to send poop to the government? I think not. These people only dream of such things.
This is not a perfect system. You’re only allowed one envelope and you don’t get to choose which government office you send it to.
But I did leave the doctor’s office thinking that not every government program seems designed to provoke me. This one was excellent. They had even given me the bag.