Pet Peeves: Grieving for Plastic


By Mark D. Crantz


2 col pet peeves Mark CrantzLaguna Beach.  Another perfect day in Paradise, but now plastic bags are outlawed.  Oh no! Although we were forewarned almost a year ago, I wasn’t prepared for the loss of the phrase, “Will that be plastic or paper?” You see what I liked about the question is that it did not have a wrong answer. That’s very important to a nitwit like me. Some days I’d say, “Give me plastic,” and the checkout lad would answer, “Right on.” Or other days I’d say, “Paper me,” and the checkout lad would say, “Right again.” I felt invincible. I was always right.  The plastic or paper exchange was the exact opposite of watching “Jeopardy,” where I never got the answer right. Even Colonial Penn won’t give me life insurance because I apparently answered their three simple questions wrong. I’ve left a voicemail for their spokesperson Alex Trebek, “What are the correct answers to cover the costs of my funeral arrangements?” to which he replied later, “Will internment be plastic or paper?”

Of course nobody took the plastic ban harder than Dustin Hoffman, who was told the future is in plastics. He’s beside himself and is suing Mr. Robinson and neighbors et al on the premise that they knew of the future to ban plastic and therefore did not fulfill the prospectus’ full disclosure clause. Contrarily, Mr. Robinson is countersuing Dustin Hoffman for being on the premises and getting full disclosure from Mrs. Robinson, who was not to be a prospectus for anybody other than her legally binding husband, Mr. Robinson.  The court appointed guardian, Bernie Madoff, is holding plastic futures in escrow for all the parties at a guaranteed annual return of 2,500,000,000,000% until such time that a verdict is rendered or Bernie is released, whichever comes first.

Although I’m grieving for the loss of the plastic or paper phrase, I know that the plastic ban is good for the environment. According to a recent report, there is currently plastic and trash in our oceans that is the size of Texas. I don’t dispute this finding, but I would encourage someone from Washington to double check that Texas hasn’t just seceded from the Union and is floating to a new undisclosed location.

My wife is supporting me through the grieving process by helping me find new reusable bags. “There are lots of bags in the car trunk,” she suggested.  So off to the store I go renewed with the hope that I will come out okay on this environmental crisis. Pop the trunk.  Then what to my wondering eyes do I find, but 23 reusable bags for wine only.  Carries six to the bag for a total of 138 bottles of grieving support. Forget plastic or paper.  My new phrase is, “merlot or pinot?”  Both are right answers.


 Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago.  He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.”  His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.

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