Sunday, July 31, 2005


Current mood: Transcendental

“Paper or plastic?”
“Paper or plastic soldier. And you had better make the right decision.”

I was standing in the queue behind an old man who had plonked down nine items in the ten items or less register. The attendee was a burly guy with a shirt a couple of sizes too small for him. I could imagine that he purposively chose the shirt because of how it accentuated his muscles. It wouldn’t have surprised me. But what did, surprise me that is, is how he reacted to the old man.
“Paper or plastic, soldier?”
“Oh… plastic.” The old man replied humbled.
“WRONG, soldier. Did you know that just 8.7 checkout bags contain enough embodied petroleum energy to drive a car 1 km?”
“Oh my… I don’t drive.”
“Plastic is a recyclable resource. If plastic is not recycled, this embodied energy is lost from the resource chain. Did you even realise that soldier, as you said plastic?”
“Erm. Oh. Paper?”
“Too late soldier. Get out of this store.”
“But what about my…”
“MOVE. Go. Go. Go.”
The old man waddled out of the store, holding his side and shaking his head. The muscled man sweeps the abandoned groceries onto the floor with one of his arms. A bottle of milk shatters, glass spreading everywhere.
“Clean up on till seven. Clean up on till seven”, says the attendee into his microphone, and I move my stuff up to the register.
“Hello sir. Paper or plastic?”
“Paper please.”
“Good choice sir.”

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