Sunday, May 10, 2015

Drowning In Plastic

Extraordinary sight of the day: there we were queuing for the check-out in the Sunday-afternoon-crowded NTUC in Clementi Mall when we realised that the couple ahead of us had put every individual item they'd purchased into its own plastic bag. The bags I'm talking about here are the ones you tear off to put loose vegetables in before you get them weighed, so they are clearly not intended for such promiscuous use. The shoppers in question, by the way, were buying on the grand scale - I'm guessing this was their weekly 'shop' as people seem to say these days.

The unfortunate lady doing the checking-out actually had to take most of the items out of their unnecessary, utterly superfluous wrappings as she couldn't scan them through the plastic, and then put them back, so that slowed things up considerably. I should add that the couple hadn't bought their own shopping bags with them as we are generally enjoined to these days, so each plastic-wrapped item found its way into another plastic bag to make its way home. Noi and I guessed that the bags would have to be discarded on arrival at the homestead as they could serve no purpose except to obscure what was inside them.

Haven't these people heard that the production of plastic isn't terribly good for the environment and it's not a bad idea to cut down on our use of the stuff - especially when it serves no useful purpose at all? Or perhaps they're fervent climate-change denialists making a pragmatist protest against the status quo? Best guess is they're just stupid. Puts one in mind of old Schiller at his pithiest: Mit der Dummheit kampfen Gotter selbst vergebens.

(Quick confession - I don't know a word of German and lifted the above from the notes provided to Vonnegut's Jailbird - a very tasty little novel indeed, by the way. Old Kurt translates it as, Against stupidity even the gods contend in vain, so it sounds good - and wise - in English too.)


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Connor, I remembered you from my TKGS days where you were my literature teacher! Great to know you're keeping a blog and to know you're doing well!
I remembered watching my first 'musical' Guys and Dolls which was something I believed you put together with the Drama Club folks. =) And I also remembered you put us in the AV theatre (after we moved from the old school to its new premises) after the exams to watch some delightful movies such as Amadeus. I am sure you may not even remember such nuggets from yesteryears but they left an indelible mark in my teenage years. It was also a joy to sit in literature class to discuss Shakespeare classics and if I am not wrong, the text we had to go through then was the History of Mr. Polly! =) Such exciting times :=p All the best to you and thank you for always going the extra mile and instilling such a great love for English literature. You made a difference. Take care!

Brian Connor said...

That's so kind. Brought back many memories - and made my day. Thanks!