I’ve got burgeoning bags, sacks, pokes. Plastic or paper I keep ’em both. Never know when you might need one. Used to store the plastic ones inside the paper, ’til I bought one of those pretty cloth bag dispensers at the crafts fair last year. What a great idea, organized storage and easy access too! But the bags multiply faster than I can use them. So now it’s buried under piles of bags; can’t even see a corner of it. Wonder to myself “Why’d I buy that thing? What was I thinking?”

The other day, I brought a load of groceries home. Put ’em away. Gathered up all the bags, opened the closet door and bags started jumping out. Picked ’em up, wad ’em into a tight ball, opened the door, shoved, then closed it fast. I swear, these befuddling bags are like bunnies doing some strange mating ritual night and day… ever burgeoning. Seems like they’re having a party in there. Creating bedlam. Pushin’ on the door, trying to get out and find another place to multiply. I’m Befuddled by Burgeoning Bag Bedlam.

My roommate watching this drama unfold, pulls out her collection of canvas totes, mesh and string shopping bags . And says to me, “Ever considered totes?” I reply, “Totes?” Looking over the collection of bags in her hands I say, “Canvas totes? I’m not planning a trip, just buying groceries. I use paper or plastic.” She opens the closet door and lots of plastic shopping bags tumble down on her head and she says, “Let’s recycle these.” I reply, “I might need ’em for garbage or storage or something.” She says, ‘Let’s keep some and recycle the rest.” I think to myself, “I’ve got a closet full. A few is all I need. But, but, but… I might need ’em for something. You just never know. They come in handy.” I’ve got a duolouge going on in my head. Those befuddling bags are using mind control. Beaming me, ‘Keep them all. You’ll need them’. Why else would I think I have to keep a closet full of bags? Uncomfortably I sigh and give an affirmative nod.

We gather them up and head to the recycling center. On the way, we notice thousands of plastic bags strewn everywhere… along the road side, in the median, even in the forest on both sides of the road. Divide and conquer. I can hear them whispering, ‘Resistance is futile’, like the Borg, and we are a lesser life-form. I say, “The bags are multiplying under our noses, overtaking the world.” My roommate says, “If we recycle or stop using them altogether, there won’t be any to take over.” I reply, “You mean, prove our superior intelligence.” Laughing she says, “Exactly.”

On our way home we stopped at the grocery store for a few things. When we pulled out our canvas totes the cashier deducted $.05 for each plastic bag we didn’t use. Wow! How cool is that! Save the environment and a bit of cash too.

EPIPHANY: Stop the plastic invasion, use canvas totes and save a few cents.

Another problem solved. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with that pretty cloth bag dispenser.

~Bonnee Klein Gilligan

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