The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
July 17, 2008

This doesn’t belong on BART!


I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me: three days of the Blogher Conference in San Francisco, Michael’s sister coming to visit during the same weekend, and then my vision quest retreat on Monday/Tuesday. I plan to blog my usual plastic tally on Sunday night, but we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick story and also let you know about another neat bloggy thing.

A few days ago, I was sitting on BART, reading or something… not really paying much attention to my surroundings. The train stopped at a station and a couple of loud, scruffy guys got off. Suddenly, from halfway down the car, a tall man jumps up, grabs a plastic garbage bag full of bottles and cans, marches toward the open door by me, throws the bag out onto the platform, and yells to the scruffy guys, “This does not belong on BART!” Then he stomped back to his seat, all the while muttering and sputtering and visibly upset. The guys on the platform just took their bag and left.

My reaction: WTF???!!!!!!! What’s wrong with this man that he should get so angry when clearly those guys didn’t mean to leave a valuable bag full of recycling on the train. Obviously they weren’t paying attention and just forgot it. Clearly they had spent a lot of time collecting those bottles and cans and didn’t leave the bag on purpose. Hey, guy. Why are you so upset? Maybe YOU don’t belong on BART. Yeah, maybe I should throw YOU off the train. How would you like that, Mr. A-hole? You are getting all pissed off just because of a failure of perception. Just because you misunderstand the meaning of a bag of recycling on BART. Why do you choose to assume the worst of people?

And by this time, I’m getting all red and worked up myself, just from the thoughts in my own head. And you guys know where this is going, right? I WAS DOING THE SAME THING AS MR. A-HOLE! I was Ms. A-hole but no one could tell because I hadn’t stood up and marched down the train car to make my point. But I could tell from my pounding heart and clenched fist. So I just sat with all the weird contradictions and realized what a tiny piece of perception we each have about the world and how if we’re not paying attention in the first place, we can miss oh so much.

This Monday, I’ll be sitting in the woods for 24 hours, awake, consuming only water, and paying attention to everything that I can. My vision quest is about finding out who I am without all the things I use to distract myself on a daily basis. I just want to see. No, actually I need to see. What will it be like to be alone in nature with only the thoughts in my own head for a full day? It’s a scary proposition, but I think I’m ready.

In the meantime, while I’m dealing with the trash in my own head, check out the latest Blog Carnival on the block: the Carnival of Trash. Created this week by Almost Mrs. Average from The Rubbish Diet blog, the Carnival of Trash will be a monthly collection of blog posts dealing with garbage and finding ways to reduce it, and the Carnival will travel from blog to blog. This month’s Carnival of Trash includes some of my letters to companies about excess packaging as well as articles from bloggers you might not yet have heard of. Next month, the carnival will land at Mrs. Green’s My Zero Waste blog and in September, I believe the host will be Fake Plastic Fish.

Okay, signing off now. Have a great weekend, and if I don’t have time to post before Monday, please keep me in mind while you’re snug in your beds eating bonbons and slurping up Jamison’s Irish whiskey through a straw. Don’t think you can hide it. I’m on to every single one of you!


Life Without Plastic

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4 Comments on "This doesn’t belong on BART!"

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I so wish I could take 24 hours off to think. I really need to. But my young kids don’t stop for nuttin’!

Good luck on your quest.

Hey! I drink Baileys thank you very much!

i love how pg-13 you get in your own blog! have a good time in the woods and learn lots of stuff that you can come back and teach me!

Anarres Natural Health

Blessings to you on your quest.

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey