An alien life-form under the sink

Click to follow
The Independent Online

In our kitchen at home we have a rubbish bin in a cupboard by the sink. It takes a big black plastic bag which, when first put in, drapes over each side of the bin. You then chuck the rubbish into the bag, mostly without looking. From time to time you check to see if the bag is full yet, and sometimes you find that one of the top corners of the bag was not properly draped over the side and has come adrift, and that all this time you have been chucking the rubbish, not into the bag, but down the side of the bag. This means, of course, that you have to engage on the very messy task of getting the bag out, which is now filthy inside and out, getting the rubbish out, cleaning the bin and reassembling it all.

In our kitchen at home we have a rubbish bin in a cupboard by the sink. It takes a big black plastic bag which, when first put in, drapes over each side of the bin. You then chuck the rubbish into the bag, mostly without looking. From time to time you check to see if the bag is full yet, and sometimes you find that one of the top corners of the bag was not properly draped over the side and has come adrift, and that all this time you have been chucking the rubbish, not into the bag, but down the side of the bag. This means, of course, that you have to engage on the very messy task of getting the bag out, which is now filthy inside and out, getting the rubbish out, cleaning the bin and reassembling it all.

Whenever this happens, I curse and swear and breathe fire against the person who let it happen.

Except that recently I have come to the conclusion that there may be no person to blame.

I am working on a theory that plastic bags are more intelligent than we think, and that they have embarked on a malevolent campaign to undermine civilised life.

Ridiculous? Well, think of the number of times you have picked up a plastic bag, or torn one off a roll, and then been baffled as to how to open it. Think of the number of times you have seen people rubbing bags between their hands in a vain attempt merely to open up the opening.

Think of the number of times you have rubbed away at one end of the bag, and then found that all the time the opening was the other end.

Think also of the times you have finally opened a bag and come back to find it has managed to close itself up again in your absence.

Is it not possible that they have somehow acquired artificial intelligence, which they are using for their own evil ends against mankind?

We are so obsessed with the idea that artificial intelligence will be used against us by robots, and even make Hollywood films to warn everyone against it, that we do not look at the possibility that the first danger may come from quite a different quarter.

Nobody suspects plastic bags. That is how clever they are.

Here's another example. Sometimes, when we have successfully filled the inside of our black plastic rubbish bag, it is my job to tie the top of it and take it up to the dustbin. When I come back down the yard, I find there is a trail of brown liquid on the ground, and across the kitchen floor, and very often on my trousers and shoes. It has happened again. Someone must have emptied the contents of a teapot into the bag, and the liquid has somehow flowed to the bottom and found a small opening.

Or is it something more sinister?

Have black plastic bags learnt how to piddle on their owners' feet?

If you think it is ridiculous for me to even suggest that a bag can be dangerous, may I point out that on many bags we already have danger warnings? "This bag is a potential killer and may suffocate your little kiddies when your back is turned", it says. So plastic bags have already been responsible for deaths ! Bags are already known killers!

So no smiling behind your hands, please.

Especially as we are all to blame for their cunning.

We put plastic bags together on rolls where they can transmit ideas to each other.

We allocate a drawer in the kitchen for the storing of surplus plastic carrier bags, and put them all in together where they can hatch their little plots. The last time I went through our drawer I realised that many of the bags I had saved were from trips abroad and must by now have transmitted their filthy foreign ideas into my innocent Sainsbury's and Waterstone's bags...

I will return to this subject at some other time. If the plastic bags don't get me first, of course.

Comments