Observant Grapefruit

31 07 2008

Recently spotted at Whole Foods Market: a printed sign that read, “What Is Your Bag Saying About You?” Picture of a nice, happy, paper Whole Foods shopping bag. The message, unmistakably, is that you’d better be careful what kind of bag you shop with, or you’ll start looking like the wrong sort of person.

Looking bad — but not TO YOUR BAG. Your bag cannot see. Your bag, which cannot speak English or any other language; which cannot, in fact, speak at all, is not saying anything about you, and doesn’t have plans to, and also—sorry to say—isn’t thinking about you, not at all. Who’s saying something about you, possibly, is other people; people who think they gain status by labelling, judging, denigrating, and ostracizing others like themselves–others who are lacking fundamental power and feeling they deserve it. “Label before you get labeled” is the prevailing motto. But Whole Foods wants to absolve such status seekers of responsibility, perhaps blame, since exactly these status seekers are flocking daily to Whole Foods to spend their money. Let the bag talk.

In a similar manner, your hairdo “says” something about you; your choice of cell phone, your travel arrangements, where you vacation, where you eat sushi, what you say in public about Conan O’Brien. We’ve all become detectives, sorting through the constantly shifting rubble of modern civilization to find the guilty party. Clues everywhere. Call in those techies with the microscopes and the oversized eyeglasses, the ones who sip Coke all day and make witty retorts to anyone who asks them a question (you know, you’ve seen them on dozens of TV series). Every shopping bag is a detective now, noticing things about you, recording things about you, reporting things about you.

I went into the fruits and vegetables section and picked up a grapefruit, but before I could get it three inches away from the other grapefruits, I heard it whisper, “Will you look at the garbage this guy is buying! Will you look at his shoes! Will you look at the way he’s staring at us!. . . ” Or did I?

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One response

1 08 2008
nellie

funny (that’s what this ‘old bag’ has to say…).

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