Note: Since Friday is usually podcast day and there is no podcast this week, I thought it would be good to spring something from the behind the green door. For those with a paywall account, this is a repeat. For the vast majority here, this is entirely new since you have failed to sign up for a paywall account. Perhaps seeing the error of your ways, you will reconsider your decision.
Here in Greater Lagos, there are several grocery chains. The small moonbat community is serviced by Whole Foods, of course. They empty their wallets buying exploitation-free artisanal pickles. A step below that is Wegmans, which targets the same sort of shopper, but a click down the socioeconomic ladder. The Wegman’s customer lives in a nice suburb and supports most of the current fads.
The next step down is Giant, which is owned by the colossal Dutch conglomerate Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. They also operate other regional brands such as Stop & Shop and Food Lion. Interestingly, the Food Lions in Lagos are positioned near ghettos, so their customer base is the polar opposite of Whole Foods. In the South, Food Lion is the standard suburban grocery store.
After that comes the specialty shops and local players. Aldi has started to turn up, offering a warehouse experience for food shopping. In Europe, an Aldi is like a big convenience store. They are not as big as an American grocery store, but they serve the same function. The ones I have experienced in America are a cross between Dollar Tree and Walmart’s food area.
The point is we have a lot of options. I tend to go to the Wegman’s near my office because of quality and selection. It is a little more expensive than the Giant, which is across the street, but the trade-off is worth it to me. The staff is also nicer than the people who work at Giant. For some reason, the people who work at the Giant stores near me are surly and unpleasant.
Starting on August 1st, Wegman’s has stopped using plastic bags. I found this out the hard way when I hit the checkout. I use the self-checkout. All of the plastic bag holders were empty. I asked the clerk, thinking it may be some weird shortage issue and instead I got a lecture about the environment from a moron. Interestingly, she said it was a new law in the county, which I know is a lie.
That says the lecture was part of her training. She was forced to memorize the official answer by store management, which she repeated when people bitched about the new plastic bag policy. Put another way, this means the company knew their customers would hate it and they knew the policy was not defensible on its own terms, so they had to produce a justification.
The main reason grocery stores switched to plastic bags was that they are superior to the old paper bags. Plastic bags let you carry more stuff. They rarely rip. They also make useful gloves for picking up after the dog. Paper bags rip and they really show their stuff when it rains. Carrying your stuff to the car on a rainy day is an exercise in frustration with paper bags.
Of course, the cranks behind these schemes will counter that you can always use the grimy canvas sacks that have become one of their totems. They apparently believe that if there is a climate rapture while they are shopping, Gaia will be able to home in on their grimy canvas sacks. Gaia also commands them to impose their weird morality on the rest of us, so you better fall in line bigot.
What makes the Wegman’s scheme more ridiculous is the fact that they are now charging for the paper bags. Each one is a nickel. There is a ceremonial reconciliation at the end of the checkout. This is another one those clues that the scheme is driven by something other than business interests. The people behind it want you to know that they are compelling you to obey Gaia.
It was clear that the law of unintended consequences is kicking in. Because packing paper sacks is a hassle, fewer people were in the self-checkout. The lines for regular checkout were longer. This means the store will be faced with staffing up or losing business due to people not wanting to wait all day to checkout. It also means more customer hassles to be addressed by the staff.
The most obvious result will be many people going across the street to the Giant, which is there to sell food, not preach the gospel of Gaia. No doubt the people at Wegman’s will see this as a triumph. They have finally purged those hidden fascists prowling the cereal aisle of their stores. It is the price they are willing to pay for the war on white supremacy and climate change or whatever.
The whole thing is another example of how this stuff works like a religion. The people who produced this crackpot idea are not doing it to make money. They are not doing it to curry favor with a specific audience. It is a public act of piety. This is all about proving their faith because they really do believe this stuff. Rational arguments to the contrary are just seen as proof of their eternal goodness.
It is one thing, but multiply this by hundreds of examples and it is not hard to see why everyone is so salty. We live in a world where a small cadre of lunatics are trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Not only are those beliefs insane, but they keep changing almost as if the point of the religion is to be a nuisance. The Church of the Public Nuisance now controls public life.
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