Thursday, June 03, 2010

An open letter to the grocery cashiers of Buttcrack

[As I may have mentioned once or maybe a thousand times, I live in Buttcrack, MS, deep in the heart of Dumbfuckistan.]

Dear Grocery Store Cashier:

I belong to a sub-culture known in these parts as "Treehuggers". One of the quaint customs of my people is the use of re-usable tote bags at the grocery store. You may have heard of it before. I hear it's very big in Japan, this custom. Also in most places where people don't want to use a plastic bag for ten minutes that will then go into a landfill for decades. I know, it's a crazy idea. Humor me, though, okay? Approximately 9 out of the 10 times I get into line with my tote bag, you are dumbfounded. Even at the grocery store where I shop like three times a week. Seriously, whatever you are doing that wrecks your memory, cut it out, okay?

Let me help you out here with some advice.

1. Do not try to charge me for my own bag and be mystified that it lacks a tag. It's RE-USABLE, see? So I bring in my own.

2. This happens probably 5 out of 10 times: you ask, "Do you want me to put EVERYTHING in this bag??" Hm, I don't know. Depends on how much stuff I have. It's not a TARDIS, see, so if I happen to have picked out more stuff than will fit in the bag, then, you know, put the rest in disposable plastic. I will re-use it for cat litter. Easy peasy, see?

3. I realize that the custom in most stores is to put one item, maybe two in each bag. But I'm guessing that somewhere along the line, you learned NOT to put squashable things in the bottom of a bag. For example: eggs, bread, chips, $5 bags of organic baby spring greens, bananas; these do not go in the bottom. Do not give me the stinkeye when I stop you from dropping canned goods and orange juice on top of squashable things.

4. If I have, say, a box of cat litter and two smaller items, do not put the 15-pound box of cat litter in the tote bag. This is just fucking stupid. Would you put it in a plastic bag? No. Do you think the bag is made of woven titanium and not some kind of flimsy fiber? God, I hope not. Seriously, put the small shit in the bag, and I will carry the cat litter with the HANDLE ON TOP OF IT.

5. Do not bag my items in plastic before putting them into the tote bag. This just defeats the purpose. You DO understand the purpose, right? To not waste plastic bags??

6. When I tell you not to pre-bag my items in plastic, don't roll your eyes, take the item you already bagged out of the plastic bag, wad it up, and throw it away. I can't tell you how depressing it is when you do that.



又陽 said...


auberginefleur said...

Japan indeed has tons of these reusable bags, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Do you need any? I have some free ones. Or would you like me to pick you a Japanese-esque one, say with cherry blossoms?

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Jezebella said...

Auberginefleur, thanks for the offer, but I have more tote bags than I know what to do with already. I'm trying really hard to STOP acquiring them, but there are so many cute ones out there!

洪筱婷 said...


Jezebella said...

OMG it happened again yesterday: I brought in one tote bag, the cashier tried to charge me for it, and then the bagger wanted to know if I wanted EVERYTHING in the bag. I gritted my teeth and said, "Well, I don't think it'll all fit." Double team stupid.

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Comrade Svilova said...

Yes, this drives me crazy at the stores where I shop. Sometimes the clerks refuse to bag my groceries when I bring my own bag, which means that I have to pay (running a debit card and answering the 12 different prompts) and bag at the same time, delaying my exit from the store and pissing off other customers. Sigh.

(I'm really enjoying the discussion on IBTP and I hope it's clear from my posts that I really appreciate the perspective you're bringing to the conversation. I think sometimes people jump from assertion A to assertion M without examining whether such a leap is possible or logical. Your posts helped me to explore my own ideas about what makes art art and what "good art" means. Thanks! Glad to have found your blog as well.)

Class factotum said...

I love cloth bags. They are easier to carry and hold more stuff.

(Yes, bagger, the milk AND everything else will fit - stuff can be sticking out of the top.

Do not put the heavy things on top. Do you notice how I have organized items on the belt? You are getting the heavy items first. There is a reason for that.(

My grocery store gives me a nickel credit for each bag I bring. Whatever. I use them because they are easy.

BTW, I am not a treehugger. My husband is, but he says I do not get moral superiority credit for using cloth bags (or drying clothes on the line or re-using ziplocks) because I am doing it for the wrong reason. :)

Kiss &Blog said...

Wow sounds like you are a calm person!