Consider the Walmart bag. You know, that unsung component of life that finds its way into shopping buggies, automobile trunks, storage containers for us to keep and reuse, and small trash cans throughout your home. It’s time we all paid homage to this lowly common denominator of mankind. In fact, mathematically speaking, it may be the lowest common denominator of all.

We all keep a stash of them, whether or not we want to admit it. What’s not to love about them, especially when they’re so versatile! Have you ever stopped to consider the wide range of uses there are for those things?

First of all, they’re good for keeping you in shape. You know the drill—you pull up with a trunk full of groceries that have been stuffed into those precious, gray plastic sacks, and then to keep from making 47 trips back and forth from your car to your kitchen, you carry as many as possible at one time in an attempt to make just one trip. Yes, this means threading your arms through as many of the handles as you can, stretching them from both wrists to both armpits, and then staggering into the house feeling like Atlas, carrying the weight of the world.

Don’t lie—you know you do this.

It’s good to keep a few Walmart bags in your vehicle, as they’re quite useful for when an unexpected rain comes up and you get caught without your umbrella. Just slip it over your $50 hairdo and skedaddle from the car and into your house. Then peek out the window to see if any of your neighbors saw you doing that. I bet they do it, too.

I’m not one of those pet owners who takes his dog on a walk anywhere that I’m expected to clean up behind him. But I do hear that Walmart bags are great for that. If you hadn’t thought of that till now, here are your instructions. Grasp one bag handle firmly, then plunge your dominant hand to the bottom, grab your intended target, then pull it (bag and all) towards you, while letting the bag turn inside out. Then simply tie a couple of knots in the handle and toss it. Doesn’t that beat buying the professional version at the pet store? Just think of it as a whole ‘nuther kind of doggy bag.

For the record, my wife has about 47,000 Walmart bags. In fact, I expect any day now to hear a knock at the door, look outside, and see a Walmart associate in their blue vest, asking if they can have some of them back because they’re running low. Where does she keep that many, you ask. Well, we have a very nice wooden tater box that’s about the size of a small footlocker, and the lid is bulging with those suckers. I believe they’ve been stomped down a few times to make room for more. As if that wasn’t enough, she has an empty Walmart bag sitting on top of the tater box that is crammed full of other Walmart bags. Is there a support group for bagaholics?

We will never run out of them. In fact, I think we should put them in our will so our kids and grandchildren will never run out. I was teasing her one time about digging down to the very bottom of the tater box, past the thousands there, and finding a T.G.&Y. bag. And that store’s been closed here since 1986, the year before Walmart showed up with all their cute little bags. Remember when Walmart bags were blue? I still have one and may be selling it on eBay soon to start a nest egg.

I find it odd that most of us refer to any similar plastic bag is referred to as a Walmart bag. It can be from Goodwill, the Dollar Tree, Winn Dixie, you name it. Walmart bags, one and all. That might be a southern thing, considering that many of us native to this part of the country refer to any kind of soda as a “coke.”

“I’m going to the store, what kinda coke do y’all want?”

“Bring me a Sprite.”

“I’ll take a root beer.”

“I want an RC. And a Moon Pie!”

So it’s only natural that other bags get mislabeled. Who doesn’t like tradition? I’m sure Walmart bags are everywhere in the USA, from coast to coast. And I think we’ve been blessed so abundantly with them that we should take some abroad to share with other countries. We are the world, right?. And we have Walmart bags for everyone. It could promote worldwide unity—who knows?

Every now and then I see one that has escaped, or been discarded. You’ve seen them too ... softly tumbling across the ground as the breeze inflates and propels them. Other than the litter factor, I find it to be heartwarming—a carefree Walmart bag making its bid for freedom.

Arcadia tumbleweeds, that’s what they are. And now I have that “Born Free” song stuck in my head!


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