Toronto City Council recently banned the use of plastic bags beginning January 1, 2013.
It’s a tremendous source of comfort to me that our elected officials are always looking out for what’s in our best interests, whether we know it or not.
My family of five will no longer be able to tote home our usual 20 bags of groceries from the supermarket in quite as easy a manner.
We’ll either have to use fabric bags, which become easily contaminated with bacteria, or paper bags, thereby costing us more trees.
Trees do grow back, given sufficient time. And cotton or linen can be sanitized with sufficient use of eco-friendly detergent.
I guess we’ll have to stockpile plastic bags for our walks with Daisy-dog. Or they’ll become one more item to buy at Wal-Mart.
Nobody’s quite sure what this will mean for dry cleaning establishments. Maybe we’ll have to wear our fresh clothes home, in layers.
Or fruit vendors. Will those roll-down little plastic baggies become a thing of the past?
But, hey, I’m sure this will all be sorted out in the goodness of time.
The nominal reason to eliminate plastic bags is to improve the environment. But I suspect there’s a hidden reason that goes deeper than that.
And it shows how well certain of our wisest councilors understand our true dark natures.
Plastic bags sometimes play a role in assisted suicide. They can be used to cut off the air supply to someone made nearly comatose through the application of drugs.
The wannabe Dr. Kevorkians of this world will now have to acquire a key part of their tool kit from outside urban Toronto’s boundaries.
Plastic bags will become one more example of contraband, along with illegal smokes and American firearms, imported into our pristine enclave.
If that’s the true reason plastic bags are being banned, then councilors should take more of their lessons from the prison system.
Any jail warden will tell you that belts are dangerous. One can hang oneself with a belt.
Shoe laces are bad on the same count.
If Toronto wants to be truly progressive, both shoe laces and belts should be eliminated.
Also, toothbrushes that can be ground into “shivs” plainly aren’t good.
Let’s get rid of plastic toothbrushes.
Besides, this will give Torontonians an identity. Anywhere in the world, we’ll become recognizable by our suspenders and sandals.
And, less obviously, by our bad teeth.
I say less obviously because we won’t be smiling much. I’m already smiling less.
Let me state the obvious. Plastic bags are the symptom, not the disease.
Shopping is the disease. If we didn’t shop, we wouldn’t need bags to carry home our loot.
Stores should be banned. Now I’m being ridiculous, you say.
I see nothing wrong with each of us owning a chicken and a cow for food essentials.
And a weaving loom for apparel. Some summer days in Toronto are balmy, but it can get cold in these parts come December.
But perhaps you’re right. I may be taking things too far.
Let’s just shutter all the convenience stores. That’s where most of the nefarious plastic bagging originates anyway.
It shouldn’t be too hard to drum up support for this plan. Councilors have made clear their aversion to the word “convenience”.
Wait a minute. There may be a snag. Government derives most of its revenue from lottery tickets sold at variety stores. That source of funding can’t be cut off.
All public sector activities would grind to a halt.
I might have a solution.
Lottery players should be required to turn in their “bum” tickets at designated waste stations.
Then the losing tickets – in their many millions, I might add, and no I’m not bitter – can be recycled into carrying bags.
Who else besides me is getting tired of the lecturing, hectoring and moralizing from do-gooders who believe they should be managing the rest of us for the greater good?
Never mind the increasing eruptions of gang violence in the heart of our city or the intermittent outbreaks of cannibalism.
“Yes, Miss Grant (my third grade teacher), I agree it’s best if my boots are lined up side-by-side and at a perfect right angle to the wall.
“And that I keep my pencils sharp and my writing neat.
“I can have a cupcake, you say?”
Life is indeed a marshmallow filling for those of us who toe the line.
Surely it’s time for something a little more high-brow. If that’s your inclination, here’s A Year in Residence at Canada’s Most Exclusive School.