Lame Adventure 346: The Old Bag is Dying

This is the right place for that idea.

Even though late at night and early in the morning, I have a cough that sounds like a death rattle and it currently feels like a colony of squirrels are performing the Gangnam Style dance inside my left knee, I am sticking around.  Now that it is October, and the weather in Gotham City is transitioning into real deal fall feel, I am savoring the final moments of tee shirt season as well as the magic hour clouds that almost appear to glow.

Magic hour cloud.

After I photographed this cloud above my Upper West Side neighborhood block, I turned my attention to the tree with the two bags tangled in its branches.

Tree with distinction of bagging today.

Same tree with hanging bags in March.

Last spring – halcyon days of tree bagging.

I can report with authority that one of the bags, the one in white plastic declaring, “thank you” — with an original purpose that was probably used in transporting a dinner delivery, entered the ether in September.  Together, lets pause and remember our departed tree bag-friend.

On that same September day in early fall, the Fairway grocery bag was continuing to hold its own.

Drunk with tree bagging power. “This tree is all mine!”

Therefore, it won Survivor: Tree Bagging.

Now, that it is October, it appears that after seven months of hang-time in that tree, nature is finally taking its toll on the surviving bag.

How the situation looked in September.

How things look in October.

It seems very possible that a drenching rainstorm coupled with the power of wicked wind, and this once hardy plastic bag that has been nestled in those branches since spring will be making its final exit.  Seasons change, leaves fall, and bags eventually disintegrate.  There you have it, the circle of tree-bag-life Lame Adventures-style.  This actually saddens me.

I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for this grocery store bag’s achievement.  The average bag likely ends up in a landfill within a week.  This bag not only survived its initial purpose, when it was used to carry groceries, but it survived the trash collector and made its escape into a tree, where it has resided since March.  It’s tackled seven months of outdoor elements.  That’s so remarkable.  What tenacity!  In bag-years, this bag is probably 90-years-old.  If a plastic bag could run for public office, this one would have made a formidable candidate.  Considering all that this heroic bag has seen from its perch, it might have been the one plastic grocery bag that could have served on the Supreme Court.  Alas, we’ll never know.  One can only wonder what this bag might say if it could talk, much less think.

“I will outlive you, bitch.”

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147 responses to “Lame Adventure 346: The Old Bag is Dying

  1. You and me both! Hahaha! A survivor it is….

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  2. Are you sure it’s not already serving on this nation’s highest court…possibly doubling as the carrier of Antonin’s Italian-style tuna hero? You know the one, with balsamic instead of mayo?

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  3. Man, that bag is a trooper. I feel like it should be preserved for all eternity as the Little Bag That Could. And I love that caption, “I will outlive you, bitch.”

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  4. hahaha…this should win some type of Most Original Blog Post idea EVER award. Maybe you can stand watch and catch the bag when it falls.

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  5. And I thought this post was going to be about your purse wearing out.

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  6. I bet there’s bags all over New York, the world even, whose stories are never told. I am sure Grocery Bag is grateful.

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    • This Grocery Bag definitely deserves Hall of Grocery Bag Fame status, but you do raise a wise point about its grocery bag brethren throughout the globe.

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      • I heard that Toledo has put a bid in to be the home of the Plastic Bag Hall of Fame but the plastic bag industry is worried that Ohio is becoming saturated with Halls of Fame (see Football, Hall of Fame in Canton and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland). I also believe Minot, ND, has asked to be considered. There a number of empty ICBM silos that might serve as locations.

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  7. I remember these bags well, LA. An Olympic sport, I think we discussed. But, in those two photos of the tree you posted, I couldn’t for the life of me see the bag anywhere! I’ve been thinking I see the bag, and I realise it’s a cloud, or a window, or another leaf… just not the bag! I thought I was playing one of those Where’s Wally? games when it struck me. The Olympic sport isn’t getting the bags into the trees… it’s spotting them when they are there! Bag Spotting… But yes, I agree, the life of that bag has been remarkable!

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  8. When I saw the title of your post in my inbox, I thought maybe your satchel was near death. But, gosh, I had forgotten about THESE bags! May they rest in peace–the one already gone and the one soon to follow.
    Happy weekend, my friend. May the sponge be with you!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    • Hm, did you really forget about those bags, or did you regret not being able to convert them into one of your clever-Kathy arts and crafts projects such as how we can turn these bags into a bowling alley in 73 easy to follow steps?

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  9. That bag is a star, You are right. I must look out for its relatives over here, Lame…

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  10. unfetteredbs

    we crusty old bags are hard to get rid of… we just hang around forever

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  11. writerwendyreid

    We don’t see bags in trees very often but when I do, I think of you. :-)

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  12. how are the sneakers doing?

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  13. Whoa Nellie … This post game me an idea. Bags of the same size from different stores need to be hung …. and examined over time … after all, the best survivor could use to their marketing advantage. Dang – NYC is the home of marketeers, and they haven’t thought of that one!

    Meanwhile, hope you get feeling better, and thanks for inspiring me to find this.

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  14. I was awkwardly a little overwhelmed (can you be a “little overwhelmed?”) with emotion for these bags while reading this. You also reminded me that seasons exist on the East Coast. I envy you that, and I envy the bag that gets to hang in a tree and enjoy them all year.

    Also, “tree bagging” made me think of “tea bagging,” which made me snicker because balls are funny.

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    • Who woulda thunk it that you’re feeling sentimental over bags hanging in trees, Hannah? My pal, Milton, originated the term “tree bagging” so you now know where his head’s at.

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  15. UC beat OSU in the NCAA finals two years in a row. After that, OSU avoid UC like the plague for decade. Of course constantly reminding everyone that they are the biggest, the best, blah blah blah. Well, the UC President essentially dismantled the basketball program. Meanwhile, OSU was loaded – guess who wanted to play?

    Meanwhile, a few years ago their football game was undefeated late in the season. We were at a UC game that night, and the OSU (who lost) was announced, … and the crowd goes wild … and my wife look confused as she didn’t know the angst many.

    SO, there you go … why many Bearcats hate the Buckeyes based on something that happened 50+ years ago.

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  16. Maybe the bag was trying to start a protest movement against all of the canvas bags putting plastic bags out of business, a bag form of Occupy Wallstreet, but in a tree.

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  17. I love your last line! I like your rendition of “the circle of tree-bag-life Lame Adventures-style” I don’t have that down in SoCal. The palm trees are up too high.

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  18. Tree-Bagging! Ha! I was on the bag’s side until that last panel; that kind of rudeness is unnecessary.

    I have a somewhat similar phenomenon where I live. A single plastic bag is caught in a difficult-to-access tree branch, and is ever-so-slowly disintegrating. I don’t know how long it’s been there (I’d guess about six months, but I’m unsure), but I end up walking past it once or twice a week with my boys, the oldest of whom NEVER fails to point it out.

    Our county just did away with plastic bags, however, so in a dozen years or so, when that plastic bag finally is gone, it will be the last of its kind.

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    • I anticipate that New York will eventually follow San Luis Obispo’s (isn’t that where you live?) lead. I don’t recall noticing bags in trees when I was a kid, but back then, bags were primarily paper. When I was a youngster in the sixties, I used to go on walks on Sundays with my dad. Someone had written “fuck” in wet cement and I remember I said to him, “Dad look — fuck!” I was about seven. He handled it well. He said, “Don’t tell your mother.” I heeded his advice, but I always looked for that word when we walked that path.

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  19. V,
    I’m late to the party, here, but I as I read your post, I heard Elton John’s voice singing “The Circle of Life.” Maybe that tree is a sort of Pride Rock. And, like others, when I read your title, I thought your beloved satchel was nearing the end of its days. Glad that isn’t the case.
    Cathy

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    • Hey Cathy, although my head is hole-riddled, at this moment I still recall that you and Peter were recently in P-town. You compelled me to Google Pride Rock. Yes, that tree could be considered a plastic bag refuge! That suggestion fits in perfectly with the Lame Adventures outlook.

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  20. Perhaps you should rescue said bag and provide it a home. You could use it for special items or special occasions so it doesn’t get thrown away.

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  21. Hey, I identify with that death rattle cough. Just getting over Pneumonia, and been watching a ton of reality T.V. It occurs to me that watching a plastic bag in a tree would have been a much better use of my time. Good to know!

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    • Whoa! So sorry to hear that the stuffing’s been so knocked out of you! Thank you for finding the energy to comment. Had I know of your condition, I would have shot a video just for you. Glad to hear that you’re recovering.

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  22. Nature is so fascinating.

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  23. You are so freaking funny sometimes. The tenacity that YOU have keeping up with that bag, V is quite admirable as well. Hope your cough gets better — I had that for a while and it’s not for sissies. (sorry I’m late to your party).

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    • The cough is how I bookend my day. It’s not a problem cough (I self diagnosed). When I was going to check out that bag this evening a rat darted out across the sidewalk. That was quite a distraction.

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  24. I think you’re a great “old bag” promoter. You’d make the ideal campaign manager for Old Bags who run for office. Personally, I’d like to see an Old Bag in the White House instead of a Wrinkled Scrotum. Maybe 2016 will be the year.

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    • You might get your wish Russell. She might go for it again and it’s possible that my governor will toss his hat in the ring, too, but 2016 is still a long ways away. Let’s get through November 6th first.

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  25. i read a book about garbage once. seriously. and the book referred to plastic bags as “satin’s resin” – uh huh. i have never looked at plastic bags the same way again. and “survivor: tree bagging.” dear gawd, you funny, woman. xo, sm

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