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The Capitalist and the Bags

August 20, 2008

Yesterday I went to checkout at Straub’s, a local grocer, and realized I had forgotten my canvas bags in the car. I didn’t have much—a steak, two boxes of mac and cheese (Caroline had a craving), tikka masala simmer sauce, and a bottle of club soda—so I told the bagger that I’d carry everything to the car.

“Forgot my bags,” I bemoaned to the cashier.

“Oh,” she said. “Then you get five cents off.”
I had never heard of this, so I asked her to clarify. Apparently, if you don’t use the Straub’s bags, they credit you five cents. It’s not much, but it’s a capitalistic maneuver that helps them save money and helps me make money.

While I was gathering all of my purchases in my arms, the guy behind me puts a sandwich and a bottle of Coke on the conveyor belt.

“You need a bag?” the cashier asked.

“Uh, yeah,” he replied.

Sigh. While I’m trying to save the environment and earn a nickel, this dude is killing Mother Gaea because he can’t carry a sandwich and a soda to his car. Dude. Come on!

Nonetheless, I’m pleased with this policy of Straub’s. It’s something to be modeled after.

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