The predictions were dire. The proposed bag ban would doom civilization. Cats and dogs would be sleeping together in the streets, plagues of locust would ravish our gardens of heirloom tomatoes, and zombies would rise up to feast upon the bronzed and toned bodies of Pleasantonians.
All this mayhem would occur due to a ban on plastic grocery bags going into effect a mere 6 months away leaving many so little time to plan. Alternatives were offered, from using paper bags provided by grocery stores for a nominal fee or bringing your own reusable bags, to grocery stores giving away branded reusable bags. None of these options quieted the firestorm of criticism by those so wedded to plastic bags they threatened to take their grocery shopping to other, less restrictive towns that had not already enacted draconian bag bans. Town Leaders envisioned massive mobs of Suburban driving soccer Moms fleeing the city to shop in the bag safe confines of Dublin and Lodi. Pleasanton’s grocery stores would become proverbial ghost towns frequented only by those hippie, gluten-free granola eating, reusable bag using, Prius driving, un-American citizens who were so unpatriotic as to not support the plastic bag industry and by extension the foreign oil cartels.
Critics cried “what am I going to do with my meat products? They are going to drip all over those so-called reusable bags and cause all sorts of disease including Ebola, festering mouth sores, terminal flatulence, and athletes foot!” They continued “We need plastic bags to protect us from our food. Our food is trying to kill us with all the pesticides, herbicides, bacteria laden animal products, and heavy metals from factory processing. Plastic bags save us from having to wash, cook, and make responsible food choices by providing a magic culinary barrier to all that icky stuff.”
Angry letters flooded the inboxes of the editors of the local papers. “Our basic human rights are being trampled on by this bag ban!” “What are our nannies and dog walkers going to use to pick up the droppings from our beloved canines?” “How will I carry my brown bag lunch to work?” “We need to organize a boycott of all the stores participating in this ridiculous bag ban!” The tempest swelled as the Baguratory approached. Many residents resorted to hording plastic bags, asking grocery clerks for extra bags and even scouring the roads for errant windblown bags. Some enterprising souls visited the local dump and collected hundreds, if not, two hundreds of used plastic bags planning to re-sell the bags to shoppers when the ban went into effect.
Bag Ban Day came and went. No one really remembers when the ban actually went into effect. One day, the bags simply were not available and we all managed to cope. The cats and dogs managed to stay on their respective sides of the species divide, the locust were held at bay, and the only zombies evident in town were those poor unfortunate souls who had not had their first morning cup of coffee or those stuck in traffic jams on 580, 680, and the Bay Bridge. For them, there was no hope, but the bag ban was not going to change their lives much, other than providing them a more scenic bag free commute.
Those fearing leaking meat products learned to inspect their meat packages and have the butcher provide extra wrapping. They also discovered reusable bags could be laundered by their maids and housecleaners. Life went on, children continued to play in the parks, the birds sang, and the fish and mermaids were able to swim freely in the oceans and rivers without fear of being tangled in discarded plastic bags.