7 Reasons That Carrier Bags are Baffling
The carrier bag might seem like a rudimentary bit of kit. Basic, functional, easy to understand. But it isn’t. Carrier bags are, in fact, among the most baffling things known to humankind. And by humankind, I mean me. Here are seven reasons why:
1. Because I Have Hands. People in shops are endlessly, needlessly trying to force carrier bags on me. But I don’t want one most of the time. Often, I’m just buying one or two items. And I don’t need a carrier bag in that circumstance. How many hands does it take to carry a single item? One. How many hands does it take to carry a bag containing a single item? One. So I don’t need a bloody bag, do I? It’s not difficult. And I already have a bag; it’s that thing I’m wearing over my shoulder that looks like a bag. But despite having both hands and bags, I am continually pestered to take the things. And I don’t know why.
2. Because They’re Everywhere. I always try not to take carrier bags, but despite this, my kitchen is full of the things. And every time I go in there, there are more of them. I don’t know how – or when – the rise of the bags began, but they are inexorably usurping our cooking space. We started off, like everyone does, with a bag of bags, and now we have at least a bag of bag of bag of bag of bags. Well, more than one, actually.
3. Because I Don’t Know What To Do With The Things. You might think this is the point where I’m going to make a few humorous and bizarre speculations on what one might do with a glut of carrier bags, but no, I’m not going to do that. This is because I’m totally bewildered and overwhelmed by my surfeit of them. I have no more idea of what to do with all the bags in the kitchen than I would have of what to do with a large, glittery, singing horse called Jemima in my dining room. Less, in fact. Or fewer?
4. Because Of Chavs. It seems that the only people that have any idea of what to do with used carrier bags are chavs. They put them over the seats of their rusty mountain bikes and tie them down to the seat-post. All of them do this. But I have no idea why. It’s not to keep their bottoms dry because they never remove the bag; even after rain. It’s a further level of bafflement.
5. Because They’re Not In The Same Condition I Left Them In. Occasionally, a rare and wondrous event occurs: I realise that I’m going to have to carry some presents to a friend’s house, or I’m going for a walk in the countryside and there might be blackberries to pick, and I find that I will actually need a carrier bag. And then I excitedly perform a brief, joyous dance – a bit like a jig – while singing repeatedly “I’m going to get rid of a bag, I’m going to get rid of a bag…” to the tune of A Life on the Ocean Wave. But when I come to use them, I discover that at least 50% of the bags are torn. But they weren’t torn when I put them into the bag of bag of bag of bag of bag of bags. So what the hell has happened to them in the meantime? Do they fight?
6. Because People Lie About Them. It’s not just that they’re all over my kitchen, mocking and taunting me, and confounding my every attempt to get rid of them that I find them baffling. It’s that people actively lie to us about the things. Don’t use carrier bags, environmentalists tell us; it’s wasteful; a lot of resources are used up in their manufacture; they don’t grow on trees. But this just isn’t true. Carrier bags do grow on trees. I’ve seen them. Just go outside and look at any urban tree and you’ll see the carrier bags growing on it. And we’re obviously using far fewer carrier bags than the trees are producing, because we’re not harvesting them with any regularity. That’s why there’s still a Woolworths bag growing in a tree near my house. Even though they went bust bloody ages ago.
7. Because Of The Holes. We all know why there’s a hole at the top of the bag. It’s to punish people that are stupid enough to try to put baguettes into them. But no one knows why there are holes at the bottom. Are they drainage holes? Is it a government conspiracy to prevent us from moving water about easily? Is it to prevent suffocation of animals, small children and Members of Parliament? Is it to stop me from inflating the things and then bursting them (with hilarious consequences)? Is it just to confuse us? Well, if it is, it’s working.