Can you believe it? Michael Phelps has a record nineteen Olympic medals and now that it’s August it’s been over four months since I first tackled the scintillating topic of tree bagging. For those of you unfamiliar with the illustrious pastime of tree bagging, that’s when you’re out meandering, your mind is elsewhere, possibly veering in the direction of strenuous wanton sex, sinfully decadent foodstuffs, or you’re wondering if that 2-for-1 sale on nasal decongestant is still happening. Then you look up and notice the phenomenon of shopping bags nestled in tree branches. If you reside on the Upper West Side like me you focus specifically on one multitasking tree on your block that doubles as a trash receptacle with branches.
Back in late March the bags in that tree looked like this.
Now, more than four months later, I have reason to report on the State of the Tree Bags. I had just finished doing two loads of laundry after work but before dinner. I was feeling hungry for my salad; the only dinner I have eaten almost every day in summer because I do not intend to use my stove again until fall. There were days in June and July that were so sweltering inside my un-air-conditioned hovel that I could have easily fried an egg on my bathroom floor, not to imply that that was actually on my “to do” list. I’ll be the first to admit that greasing one’s bathroom floor is not such a genius idea. Besides, I’m certainly not going to eat that egg. Ew.
So there I was, deep in shallow thought while walking back to my sanctum sanctorum, carrying my bag of freshly done laundry. It had been a long and busy day at The Grind. The soles of my feet were aching. I was thinking:
Me (thinking): Why are my feet aching? Now what, do I have gout? Doesn’t that only afflict old guys? Or am I the one woman in the entire universe that’s screwed with this curse? Can I ever get cut a single solitary break or is my entire life a constant disaster? What is this going to cost me aside from epic humiliation? I can hear my dad right now, “How the hell did you get gout? I know guys in the mall with it. Gals aren’t supposed to get that.” It would probably behoove me to exclude mentioning this in the “objective” category on my resume, or maybe it would show character and pith? “Got gout. Hire me.” Hm, it does have an original ring to it.
I glance up at that tree’s branches.
Then, focus my gaze and access my inner zoom lens.
Me (thinking): Wow! That Fairway bag is still there! It’s survived so many elements, the heat, the humidity, several rainstorms, even The Hunger Games entire run at my neighborhood multiplex. Remarkable! Am I almost out of balsamic? I wonder when I’ll next get laid? What happened to the second bag?