Thursday, March 19, 2009


On disposable cups...

I flew to New Orleans last week, and on the way there I got a can of tonic water from the flight attendant. “Tonic water, please,” I said, proffering, as always, my own travel cup, “and ice in here.”

“How ’bout if I give you a cup with the ice?”

“Well,” I answered, “it’s that I was hoping to save the cup.”

“I guess I could do it this way,” she said, and she scooped ice with the cup she’d been using for the purpose, and carefully put the ice into my cup while keeping her cup from touching mine. Then she went to her cart to prepare the drinks for others in my row. And I was pleased that she’d avoided wasting a disposable cup.

When she returned, she handed me a cup of tonic water, and the can with the rest. She noticed my puzzled look, and asked what was wrong.

“No, it’s OK,” I answered, “It’s just that I was hoping to save the cup, you see, and I have my cup here.”

“Oh, bless your heart!”, she said. “Well, just this once, it won’t matter.”

Yeh, well. We try to be “green”, we do, but... most people don’t get it. They often think it’s “a really great idea” that I have my own cup, which I do to reduce waste. But it never prompts them to do the same. And, yes, it does matter, every time. We should be avoiding most disposable items when we don’t need them, saving them for when we do.

Anyway, I think “Bless your heart!” is what southerners say when they really want to say, “Bite me, you annoying person!”, but their southern politeness forbids them.


Michelle said...

Well, you can only do what you can do, and it's possible you influenced her a tiny bit. It's possible..

Marcy Webb said...

Well, now...I take issue with your interpretation of "Bless Your Heart." I guarantee you that the person to whom you were speaking meant it in all sincerity. BTW: I use the phrase myself. Trust me; if I want to be blunt, I can. And, I know plenty of Southerners who are blunt. I respect them for that. It's Northerners who BS.

OK. That out of the way. I give you props for doing your part for the Green Movement. Several of my colleagues use dishes and silverware instead of the paper products when they eat lunch.

Barry Leiba said...

Right; I don't use smiley-faces (see the Leiba's Lament entry), but I was just funnin' about the "Bless your heart!" bit... because I know I was being something of an annoyance to the flight attendant, who was just doing her routine things on... um... autopilot.

Marcy Webb said...

Oh...ok. :)

The Ridger, FCD said...

"Bless your heart" is pretty harmless. It's the third person ("Now, John, bless his heart...") where it means "is an idiot".