Monday, May 12, 2008
MY WIFE thinks I’m crazy. She believes I’m the only person in the world that is pissed off by what I’m going to write about here. I don’t think so. I think a whole bunch of folks might be torqued about this, but most of us don’t speak up about it. It’s not something that the fate of the world is hinging upon, and it’s easily forgotten until the next time it happens, so that may be why nobody else ever rants about it. When I’m done, give me your honest opinion. If you agree with me, let me know. If you don’t care one way or another, that’s OK. And if you think I’m a looney tune as well, so be it.
The next time I’m at the supermarket, and I have to ask to have my milk put in a bag, I’m going postal. I want my milk in a bag. If I have to ask one more time, I’m going to end up putting somebody’s head in a bag.
Why is it that milk is the only thing the bagger at the supermarket won’t automatically put in a bag? If you buy laundry detergent, it gets put in a bag. A bottle of dishwashing liquid? Into a bag it goes. Every other thing that comes in a bottle or jar finds itself in a bag after checkout. Cream - which is just milk with a college education - gets put in a bag. Hell, if you buy some paper bags, they put the paper bags into a bag. The only thing they don’t automatically put into a bag is milk. Why? What in the name of Satan’s left testicle has milk done to offend these people?
(Even Satan’s balls are in a bag, but not my milk.)
I like milk. I drink it with most meals. Every week, I buy two gallons of milk. And every week I have to ask these maroons to put my milk into a bag. Why?
It’s not that I’m an idiot who can’t figure out how to carry the milk by the handle provided on the milk container. And I’m not trying to set some sort of record for plastic bag consumption by having every item put into separate environment-befouling receptacles. I’d be happy as a clam at high tide if they didn’t put my six-pack of toilet paper in a bag. I can carry that just fine without a bag, thanks, and maybe even better than I can when it’s in a bag. It doesn’t quite fit in the bag and I end up carrying it in the crook of my arm anyway. However, there are actually good reasons for putting my milk into a bag. To wit:
1) Milk is perishable. When sunlight hits milk, it begins a chain reaction that will result in my milk turning into cheese. If I wanted cheese, I would buy cheese. And, if I bought cheese, they’d put it into a bag.
2) Containers of milk sweat. When they are taken from the refrigerated dairy case and put into a warmer environment (the trunk of my car) they become moist. And anything moist in the trunk of my car will collect grime. I do not want to deposit a grimy milk bottle into my refrigerator where it will befoul the rest of my food, nor should it be incumbent upon me to clean the damn milk bottle before it goes in the fridge.
3) It is much easier for me to carry my two gallons of milk if they are both put into one bag. If I have to carry two gallons of milk outside of a bag, all I can carry for that one trip between my car and the house is the two gallons of milk, one in each hand. If my two gallons of milk are in a bag, I not only can use my other hand to carry additional sacks of groceries, but I can probably hook one or two sacks onto the same hand as that which is carrying the milk. Putting my milk into a bag saves me at least one trip between the car and the house, possibly two.
I spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 a week on groceries. That works out to over $4,000 a year. Is it too much to ask that, for that sort of money, my milk get treated equally to every other freakin' thing I buy? I don’t have to ask for anything else to be bagged; it just happens, as a matter of course. Why is it considered such an odd request if I ask for my milk to be bagged?
Honestly, when I ask the bagger to put both of my gallons of milk into one bag, he or she looks at me as though I’ve lost my mind. OK, I understand that it’s not just the act of having my milk put into a bag that alarms them. What it is, is the fact that I want BOTH of them in the SAME bag. They believe that the bag can’t handle such a load. Or else they believe that I can’t. Either way, it’s insulting. Either they believe that I don’t have enough intelligence to figure out the load capacity of a bag, or they believe that I’m too weak to carry such an enormous load. Well, I have never had a bag break from the weight of two gallons of milk, nor have I ever suffered a dislocated shoulder from having such an amazing amount of weight depending from my fingers. Quit looking at me like I just asked you to give me a blowjob behind the deli counter and put my milk in the friggin’ bag, you idiot.
I have a whole bunch of other things I could rail about concerning supermarkets. For instance, why is it that the dope in charge of my local market decided that the frozen foods section should be relocated in the middle aisle of the store? Now, no matter which end of the store I begin my shopping trip from, I pick up my frozen items halfway through. By the time I reach the checkout, after traversing another five or six aisles, the frozen items have begun to thaw. Placing the frozen foods on the side of the store – as was the case previously – makes much more sense.
Another thing: What’s the deal with the sudden proliferation of self-checkouts? It’s not my job to ring up the groceries. I mean, sure, if I got some benefit from doing it, maybe I’d think it was swell. Give me 5% off and we might do business. But all you’re doing is putting cashiers out of work, making me do the work instead, and keeping your prices the same or still raising them. I’ll keep going to the checkouts staffed with cashiers, thanks just the same.
Similarly, there’s this rack of self-scanners available at the entrance to the store. The idea is for a shopper to grab one on the way in. Then, every time something is added to the cart, the shopper (that would be ME) scans the item. Again, not my job. Oh, I suppose in both cases I could work it so that I’d get that 5% off we discussed before (or maybe 50% off, for that matter) but... well, wait a minute. I’ll have to explore these options a bit further. Nevermind.
Sorry. We’ve become sidetracked. I came here to discuss my milk and its state of unbaggedness.
Now, to be fair, MY WIFE has suggested that I take reusable tote bags to the market. If I do, she says, I won’t get the incredulous stares from the bagger when I ask that my two gallons of milk be put into one bag. The reusable totes are visibly strong enough to handle such a thing, so if the bagger gives me the stinkeye, I’ll know it’s because my fly is down or something else besides the fact that I'm asking them to bag my milk. I’d also be doing my bit for the environment, blah, blah, blah. However, this brings up another gripe. Why are the supermarkets selling these tote bags? If they’re so damned concerned about saving the environment, they should be giving them away. And, if they gave them away, they’d save money in the long run, because they wouldn’t have to keep buying the one-time-use bags.
Enough. Now is the time when you weigh in with your opinion. Am I just a grumpy old fart making a big hairy deal out of nothing? Let me know. In the meantime, I’m going to stuff an envelope full of anthrax and get ready to mail it to the supermarket, just in case you agree with me and the revolution is on.
Soon, with more better stuff (unless my milk turns into cheese, in which case all bets are off.)
(The pictured milk comes from Tuscan Farms. I have never had Tuscan Farms milk. However, theirs was the best picture I could steal. I have no doubt they are fine folks who will gladly put your milk in a bag.)