Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Paper, Plastic, or World Fantasy Con Tote Bag? 

My latest bit to be environmentally conscious is to take a cloth tote-bag to the grocery store with me, so that I don't need to choose either paper or plastic. I've been using my 2003 World Fantasy Con tote bag, with the orange straps. My local Ralphs supermarket gives me a whole $.05 credit on my bill for not using their paper or plastic bags. If I shop twice a week, and remember to take my tote bag each time, I'll save in a year's time a whole... five dollars.

Weirdly, my local Ralphs has recently remodeled, closing for 10 days last month to do so, upgrading to look more like a Whole Foods Market, or a Gelson's, with more prepared food counters and high-end liquor shelves at the front, while actually reducing the shelf space for ordinary canned and bagged goods now at the back. It's weird because I realized after 2 or 3 visits to the reopened store that the entire staff has changed. None of the old checkers or bag boys are there. I'm afraid to ask. It's as if Stepford clerks, or aliens, have moved in and taken over.
Glad to be helping you get your nickels!

Michael Walsh
Chair, WFC 2003
I worked on the 2003 WFC and about six months later I was having breakfast at an IHOP halfway between DC, where the convention was held, and Baltimore. When I saw another patron paying his bill and carrying a canvas tote bag with orange handles I tried not to stare but kept watching, watching . . . Yes! The other side of the bag had the artwork from the 2003 WFC.

Usually the bags given away at conventions disappear as soon as the convention is over if not before. These we keep seeing again and again and the basic style of bag been used for every WFC since.

I'm glad you're saving nickels with it (and I really keep meaning to use it for shopping as well - thanks for the reminder!) It seems that those bags have aided and abetted everything from saving money to packing for a weekend to, well, they were chosen to carry books. Which means that when you're shopping for books you can carry, and thus buy, a lot more.
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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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