We are supposed to be recycling our plastic bags already. This is my chore as well. Plastic bags cannot be recycled just by throwing them in the blue can. They have to be taken back to a store and wadded into a special filthy container to be recycled by a special process. What this means for me is that I usually have a big clump of plastic bags sitting next to Fry-Bob in my back seat. They are just as easily forgotten as well. Knowing I am untrustworthy in matters green, I am always questioned by my girl when I get back from being sent on this task.. "Did you recycle the bags?" she asks.
"No," I reply crisply. "I soaked them in insecticide and threw them in the river."
Sarcasm usually throws her off her game enough so that she does not check my car and discover the bags still expanding like kudzu in the back seat. When the Bag Creature finally gets big enough to be visible at all times in the rear view mirror, I eventually dispose of it. While I am thrusting it into the black hole of the recycle box, I look at the checkout people handling the reusable bags they are already being presented with, and I sense their lack of enthusiasm. Instead of wiggling their fingers gently into fresh plastic, they have to deal warily with questionable burlap presented to them by the general public. I can practically see them thinking Who knows what people have been doing with these bags besides carrying groceries? Letting their kids and pets play with them, for sure, and storing anything from fertilizer to freshly made meth in them, maybe. Fry Bob has already suffered several spills on his person, and he hasn't even been opened yet. The first supermarket person I hand him to is getting dried hot sauce under his nails, gratis.
These people are probably opposed to the new law, as are many. There's a petition going around (sponsored by bag manufacturers, natch) to put the bag law on a ballot proposition and let the people vote on it, in the democratic way we have in California of electing politicians to consider our problems carefully, then bypassing them in favor of letting the voting public decide important issues by thinking about them for maybe three seconds. "Hell no, I'm not bringing my own bags to Walmart," the bag men hope people are thinking. "What has the Earth done for me lately? Except for the free air to breathe, of course."
But there are those marine creatures to think of, and I don't want them biting on plastic bags instead of the squid I have on my hook. And I especially don't want the supermarket taking any more bites at my wallet by charging me for plastic bags, so eventually I'll start remembering to take Fry Bob shopping with me.
He looks like he'd be pretty hard to catch fish with, anyway.
For Part One, click here