Thursday, August 06, 2009

Who's afraid of the big bag wolf?

That is not a typo.

I am referring to the Seattle shopping-bag fee ballot measure and its slavering opponents.

As someone who lives in a world where gas prices soar $1 per gallon in a month, where people routinely pay $3.50 for a daily latte, and where dry cleaning prices are approaching the level of fees for restoration of rare artworks, my reaction to the bag fee is: big deal.

In fact, I'm grateful that stores will sell me a cheap plastic or paper bag to use if I've spaced out and forgotten to drag around my own trendy, reusable shopping sack. It would be difficult to carry 10 potatoes out of the store in my hands.

In the past week, I have received several calls from the bag-fee opponents, disguised as "surveys" that purport to want my "opinion" on the bag fee.

I agreed to take one, and the surveyor read a "question" that went something like this:

"How do you feel about an oppressive, socialist invasion of government into your life by way of a bag tax?"

a. in favor
b. maybe kinda in favor
c. not in favor
d. heat up the tar, Bubba, them bag tax people is a-headed this-a-way

"And how do you feel about the opponents valiantly trying to defend our community against the bag tax?"

"They're a bunch of hysterical wing-nuts," I cut in. "I feel no need to be defended against a 20-cent bag."

To my surprise and delight, the surveyor, a young woman, burst into laughter. I hope our call wasn't being monitored for "quality assurance."

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