Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Believe It's Called A "Murder"

I've always wondered who came up with many of the collectives we use, and why. The guy who came up with "a murder of crows" has particularly intrigued me. Possibly he had some experience with a bunch of crows that lead him to claim that this was an appropriate collective. Sometimes we use the same collective for different things. There is more than one animal that is called a "herd" in the collective. So I would think that if I decided that a "murder" of employees of a certain multi-national super store chain in which I am budgetarily forced to shop, it shouldn't stir up too much fuss. This feeling is particularly intense right now, I'm guessing now,  based on unprofessional self analysis, because of their holiday commercials in which perky, articulate staff, which I have never actually found in one of their stores, happily help people do their holiday shopping. So today I am chatting with the very nice lady who was checking me out and she started to put my bag of potatoes in a plastic bag. I shouldn't fuss at her-I usually bring my own bags, but I said to her, in my best plain English, "No, thank  you-those don't need to be in a bag." We continued chatting about grandchildren and such, when I added, "You can put more things into the bags, and put non-food items in bags with food, I don't mind; I'm a fan of the fewest possible bags." Those were my exact words!!!!!!! I can't emphasize enough that those were my exact she cluelessly put only one or two items in each bag, and complimented me on how "patient" I am. Patience is not the reason I want fewer bags! I was so frustrated that I had to fight back tears as I put ALL THOSE PLASTIC BAGS in my truck. Yes, I recycle. Yes, I should never leave the house without my reusable bags, but please-I did say something, and she did smile and nod as if she understood

While in that line, I saw something that really stuck in my craw, as we say in Texas. Vaseline in little jars, selling itself as "the original lip therapy." Now they are using Carmex sized containers so we can all have them in our purse. First of all, I don't think anyone wants to hear me rant again about packaging. If anyone were listening to me, there would be a movement against Sunsweet Prunes being wrapped in individual plastic wrappers, etc. But I developed a bad case of liberal guilt about using Vaseline on my lips YEARS ago. What is Vaseline? Petroleum jelly. Petrol....that means it is a petroleum product, as in made from non-biodegradable oils products that will never break down. Never in any meaningful sense of the word. It also ONLY comes in plastic jars. Statistically only about three percent of people recycle, so that's an unimaginable number of plastic containers, made with petroleum products, being filled with petroleum products that add to our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. Does anyone see a pattern here?

But not all was bad in the grocery shopping today. I needed coffee. My husband will not drink any coffee that doesn't come from Starbucks, so I stopped at Starbucks to get a pound of Morning Joe Blend and a salted caramel mocha. We like the Morning Joe Blend flavor, which is really just a repackaging of the Starbucks Gold Coast Blend, but with the Morning Joe Blend some of the money goes to educational programs. And I have a hard time resisting the Salted Caramel Mocha, even though drinking coffee in the late afternoon is usually a bad move for me. The nice lady at the microphone took my order, but when I got to the window, I saw the hottest barista I have ever had the pleasure of being served by. So the day wasn't a total loss. I must also add, he asked me if I wanted the coffee in a bag. My lungs dropped, and I sucked in hard and smiled and, looking at all the grocery bags in the cab next to me and I said, "How many bags does one person need after all." He smiled-gorgeous teeth, green eyes that were clearly not contacts, and said, "I guess that depends on the person." Yes indeed, Handsome. Yes indeed.

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