Bag It

One MUST be fair, I suppose: that’s the name of the enterprise. This is not the Newberry Book Unfair. So today I would like to discourse briefly on the subject of bags Boxes cause me less trouble, in the long run, but it must be admitted that bags can be useful when transporting books, especially if you do so afoot.

I believe I have now seen books delivered in every manner of bag imaginable: big bags, little bags, bread bags, laundry bags, garbage bags, leather bags, and variations and combinations of them all. Now that I think of it, I have not yet had books delivered in popcorn bags, and I hope you will not make up this deficiency in my experience. I should like to leave something for my dotage. I have had books donated in a popcorn BOX.

Now, if one wished to begin upon a taxonomic division of the species Bag, one could take hold of them by many handles. Hey, let’s start there: there are bags with handles and bags without handles. One could possible come up with a hybrid—bags with handles that fall off—but I think this is a false identification. Let’s begin at the handles.

The main distinction of bags without handles is that they are LOUSY FOR CARRYING BOOKS IN AND I WISH YOU WOULDN’T DO THAT UNLESS IT IS A CHOICE BETWEEN BAGS WITHOUT HANDLES AND STEALING THE LAST BAG WITH HANDLES FROM A STARVING KITTEN IN THE SNOW. I hope I have not understated my point of view.

The next distinction, I think, should be between squarish, stand-up shopping bags and shapeless bags of soft plastic: garbage bags and T-sacks. These latter do not offer much support for the books and tend to sploob ALL over an area, taking up MORE space than NECESSARY and wreaking HAVOC on our plans for SPACE AND TIME. I shall not mention starving kittens in the snow a second time, but perhaps you can guess how I feel about these bags.

Shopping bags with handles come in all different varieties: paper bags with paper handles, paper bags with string handle, paper bags with, so help me, cloth handles, plastic bags with string handles, cloth bags with plastic handles, plastic bags with leather handles…and so it goes. Most of these bags were never designed for carrying books, so choosing among them is a matter of personal taste. Putting the books in neatly so the corners don’t slash through the sides helps a lot, as does avoiding any traffic whatsoever with those paper bags with flat paper handles. The handles fall off, you see, making it a bag without handles, and provoking me to make comparisons with starving kittens again. I WISH you’d quit bringing the subject up.

You might think I am pleased with sturdy leather bags or cloth ones. I can be (confounding those people who think Uncle Blogsy cannot be happy) provided the donor does not say “Here are the books; give me back my bags.” This is the sort of person who tosses empty tuna cans to starving…there you go again.

What kind of bag DOES make me happy? Well, one with nice books in it, provided you haven’t ruined the books by jumbling them into a garbage bag. After all, he said, sighing, it’s the books that matter, even when…. Are you sure you can’t find a few nice boxes? No no no! Stay away from the banana display! (Oh, you were just buying the bananas to feed to kittens. I had you all wrong.)

UPDATE: The Adoption program Score-Keeper tells me the main competition has been in the Music and Quotation categories. There is a three-way contest for first among quotations, with Shakespeare ahead of the dancing Baptist by a nose, and “Casll me Ishmael” coming a close third. The fight in Music is as fierce as expected, with Debussy ahead of Mozart by just one donation (The Debussy has the advantage of being both a music and a children’s item.) The rest of the potential adoptees are statistically tied, with Don Quixote showing a slight lead in the Book section. Where are all the Alice In Wonderland people? How about the Gangland Map of Chicago and that neat horse picture? If you fail to adopt one of our little family, don’t blame me if Moby Dick comes into your dreams and stares at you with big, starving kitten eyes. 

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