In the most recent issue of Writer’s Digest
, Bill O’Hanlon writes about using frustration, hurt and anger to fuel your writing. One of the sections of his article is called “Write From Being Righteously Indignant.”
I’m righteously indignant. About a lot of things. My cause-du-jour? Plastic bags.
Don’t get too excited, environmentalists. I’m not going to wax eloquent on the virtues of re-usable canvas bags. I use them, of course (so you can put down the pitchforks), but my beef right now is not with the evils of overconsumption. It’s with businesses that like to pose as environmentalists because it’s good PR, but pass on the costs of their good will to me, the customer.
Last week I was in the mega-bookstore Chapters, one of my favourite places in the whole world. I bought a book for myself (The Constant Gardener
by John Le Carré) and a pile of birthday gifts. While checking out, the lovely girl behind the counter asked me if I wanted a bag for my purchases. With an armful of books, two kids in tow, rain outside, and more errands yet to run, I said, “Yes,” mystified as to why she would even ask me that question.
“That will be an extra 6¢, then,” she said.
There was, I admit, a long and dramatic pause on my part, followed by some seriously raised eyebrows and a slightly opened mouth for effect. (Continue reading ...)