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The Artist Formerly Known as ...

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Have you ever followed a particular artist? Well, i did and i miss his work terribly.

I miss the artistry. I miss the Artist. I miss the masterpiece.

I remember the artist with such youthful exuberance and full of potential.

The Artist designs his workstation; he sorts his materials and reviews his palette. His canvas was bland, sterile and flat. He opened it both to its possibilities and its purpose. The Artist would pass his masterpiece to me, taking great care to ensure a perfect fit. I would take his creation home, place it carefully on my counter and ceremoniously disassemble it.

What began as a brown paper bag would be transformed by the grocery store Bagger into the Grocery Bag. I never knew what to expect at then end but I trusted him implicitly with my groceries. First the cans, then boxes. If it became too heavy, a new bag was opened. At the top were the perishables and damageables. The candy bars set aside. Two litters were two to a bag. Gallon jugs remained in the cart.

One day the Artist changed his medium. I cringed but I trusted him. His craft had not diminished, indeed it became better. The combination of paper and plastic was inventive, it was ingenious. Now the gallon jug, the bagels and even the box of pasta could share the same bag. He had created something better. A revolution.

Alas, he became complacent with his success. He lost his edge. He lost that uniqueness, he abandoned his craft. He no longer created. Instead he took orders. Did I want ' paper" or " plastic? " A choice! The Artist wants to give me a choice???? What madness had befallen him? He was losing his edge.

Finally, his artistry further diminished he has become that lazy little punk kid who puts two-three items in these cheap plastic bags. Oh yeah, sometimes he has the nerve to double bag it. As if double bagging a plastic bag is anything comparable to double bagging a paper bag. One process had purpose - it created a sturdier bag that could hold more items. The latter merely allowed you enough time to walk to your car and take the bag home before it breaks. And yes it will break, usually in your driveway - because whatever the bagger put into the “double plastic bag” probably should have either been left out or put in a paper bag.

This new Bagger must find delight in sending me home with 12 bags of nothing that could have fit into 2 paper bags. He looks at me without shame when I ask him to use paper and he says " there are no more paper bags" or " I don't think we have those." As if i am asking him, "where are the Saccharin tablets."

There is no more artistry in bagging groceries, and am saddened by it. So, I use the self-check out and bag my groceries myself using brown paper bags inside of plastic and i imagine that I am the Artist of yesteryear.

P.S. Never go grocery shopping right after a 10 hour day of work and you are famished.


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