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Vacation Soliloquy: Afrocity Gets Sandbagged in DC August 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 8:31 AM
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I am addressing you from our nation’s capital today.  A short break from Chicago was necessary in order to recharge my batteries and take in some of the sights.  I missed so many when I was last in Washington.

The Holocaust Museum was on my list along with the Air and Space Museum and the DC- Zoo.    Upon checking into my hotel, I realized that as usual, I left some much needed toiletries at home.  No problem- I would just skip through the lobby and find the nearest drugstore.  The Adams Morgan neighborhood was very  trendy- very Afrocity. Upscale boutiques, 12 Starbucks, an apothecary.  Everything a conservative girl with liberal shopping attitudes would want.   But at the moment, I needed some talc powder for those humid days and body lotion.   Hmmm, I saw a CVS store that would fit the bill.   Nail polish no.  Tampons no…Ah Caress Body wash, Nivea, and Shower to Shower.    Dreadful was the wait in line for  the register but finally when I made it, all I wanted was to pay for my items.  I did not anticipate a conservative meltdown.

“Do you want a bag?” asked the cashier hesitantly.

Big Afrocity smile, “yes, thank you.”

“That will be five cents extra…is that okay with you?”

Ummm. Did he just ask me to pay for a bag?  Yes he did.

“Are you serious?”  I asked.  WTF?

“DC bag fee…Or you can carry your items.”

Sure me and all of my toiletries walking through the hotel lobby. Nivea shoved under my armpit while maneuvering the passkey.

I never knew about the law. I was after all a visitor in a foreign country.

From NBC NEWS last January:

D.C. Bag Fee Still Creating Confusion

Businesses unsure if they have to charge

Updated 10:15 AM EDT, Tue, Jan 26, 2010

It didn’t take long for the D.C. bag fee to raise a more difficult question than “paper or plastic?”  How about, “Is edible body frosting really food?”

A little more than three weeks in, there is still a lot of confusion about which businesses are subject to charging the 5-cent fee. The city council’s intention in passing the law was green. They wanted to both reduce waste and raise money.
However, the wording of the law leaves some interpretation about who needs to charge customers. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, many local businesses still cannot figure it out. The law applies to any store that sells food. But what constitutes food?
One example in the paper’s report is a business where most people would not go to eat: Pleasure Palace. It’s an adult store that happens to sell edible body frosting. Sure, you can eat it, but is it food?
“I’m not sure if it applies to me,” the owner, Cecilia Colglazier, told the Journal.
So for the moment, Pleasure Palace is not charging the fee.
Sell food outdoors, and the law gets even more confusing. The Web site The Slow Cook witnessed vendors at a local farmers market in Dupont Circle doling out their goods in plastic bags, with no added fees.

Picture from my trip to the Smithsonian. Can I just click my slippers and go back to life before Obama?

The big question of the moment is did I pay the five cent bag fee…Yes I did.  What choice did I have?  You may say Afrocity it was only a nickel. But it was my nickel.  I thought the system goes something like this: you buy something- store puts it in a bag – FOR FREE.  When will a nickel turn into a dime or a dollar?  I get the logic behind this: be green or you will pay.  To avoid the fee, you will bring your own bags just like we bring our own food on airplanes today. What’s next?  Paying extra for the white creamy center of an Oreo cookie?
Government interference, liberal idealism= less money in your pocket.  PERIOD. I am sold.  Never a Democrat again.
The conservatives have Afrocity in the bag.

Autographed Letter Signed,

10 Responses to “Vacation Soliloquy: Afrocity Gets Sandbagged in DC”

  1. garnette Says:

    First of all the cost of the bags has been added to the price of anything we buy at the store. Second of all what happens when you get a sales clerk who is a bit over zealous about using bags and you end up with a bunch of bags with one or two items. Finally, many people reuse these bags for other purposes such as nonprofits, such as food banks can use them to assist others, picking up after dogs as well as just around the house. So, I am being double charged for something I need then, I may get charged more because of how the sales clerk places my items in bags as well as now I may have to buy packages of bags to use around the house. Yep, that fee really makes sense…actually will probably lead to more bags being in the landfill.

    • They’re probably not being overzealous. They’re not supposed to mix foods items with nonfood items like cosmetics or cleaners or insecticides. And of course you don’t want to mix heavy canned goods with frangibles like eggs or bread or vegetables. It’s more likely diligent service rather than a molestation of Mother Gaia.

      • garnette Says:

        Actually, too many times they have done exactly what you say they shouldn’t and still used more bags than needed. However, the situation I had in mind was where almost all items had been bagged when another guy came over to help by grabbing two of the remaining items leaving the original guy with a bag with only one item in it.

        Today, I was at one of those stores that only use paper bags if you don’t bring your own. I swear I thought I was being given the evil eye by those who bring their own bags. I so wanted to point out that I have even found a way to reuse the paper bags. Instead, I wondered how many new bags they are using now that they don’t have plastic bags they can reuse. 🙂

  2. ArmyWife Says:

    The whole bag fee is a bit much! I do use recycle bags when I go to the store (well when I remember to put them in my car before I leave the house), at some places you get a $0.05 refund for using them, but to charge me is something I just can’t understand. I had that discussion prior to the Seattle Bag Tax vote, I use the plastic bags to line my small trash containers in my bath, laundry, bedrooms and office. So I said to my liberal friend, so you are going to charge me to get the plastic grocery bags, so instead I will buy a package of small plastic trash bags, which are not made from recycled plastic (go figure)? There is some seriously lost logic somewhere in there!

  3. Tombee Says:

    Do your part for Mother Earth, comrade!

  4. Rand Says:

    Leave it to you to find a good political story while exalting in a liberal shopping spree…I love way you think. Rock On AC !

  5. yttik Says:

    Congratulations on the vacation!

    We have the silly bag thing here,too. What’s kind of ironic is that we thrifty people have been re-using our bags for decades. When they started pushing us to use these cloth bags, we discovered we suddenly have no bags to line the trash cans with, no lunch bags for the kids, nothing to put swim suits in, no doggie bags, etc. You know what I had to do? Go buy a bunch of bags! Seriously, now I have to go buy all these baggies and trash liners to replace the grocery bags I used to re-use.

  6. JWWright Says:

    So, where does the money go? Follow the money, find the real agenda.

  7. Holly Says:

    Thanks for the information for when I leave for DC. Who the hell are they to tell me what is proper behavior and in their judgement of what is improper or “sinful” behavior, push a punitive tax on a public that is out of work and over-taxed.

    Here in WA State for every bag you fill that you brought you get money back; a cash INCENTIVE rather than how DC operates, which is one of negative reinforcement.

  8. Well we see that liberalism aims to turn us into bag ladies….

    Seriously though, it’s a silly law and could easily be scrapped if business simply just stopped enforcing it. If I were a DC business I would advertise a “no bag fee” policy in order to entice customers, total up the number of bags used in a month and then pay for them myself. Add 1 cent here or there to a product plus (hopefully) increased sales volume and BAM!, I’m ahead of the game.

    What people don’t realize is that these things, while minor, are a steady and almost imperceptible infringement on our liberty. What difference does it make to the DC government, or any other, if I am given a bag when I make a purchase? It’s all about control. Ultimately what this leads to is people simply going around the law

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