"Plastic bags okay?"
That's what they say now. They don't even bother with the pretense of asking "Paper or plastic?"
"Do you have a cart?"
"These paper bags don't have handles anymore, you know."
"Yeah, I know. You people were tired of paying for paper bags, so a few months ago you stopped putting handles on them in the devious hope that we'll start using those damn plastic bags that hold one item each and beg for a legitimate reason to exist! No dice, my underhanded friend! I'd rather struggle with the bulk of five handle-free paper bags than accept 26 cheap-ass plastic bags and give in to your corporate penny-pinchery! And don't think I don't see the irony in stating that you're eliminating handles for paper-saving "green" reasons while you're really just driving people to use non-biodegradable plastic!" *
"Very good, sir. Have a nice evening!"
I fumed out to the parking lot with my five precariously balanced paper bags and drove home while working up an impressively irritated mood. I arrived home, and as the elevator door opened, so did a tear in the ill-positioned bag containing milk and a six-pack of beer.
* May or may not have been thought but not said.