Roger Marolt: Roger This | AspenTimes.com

Roger Marolt: Roger This

The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

I believe in global warming. I believe humans are mostly to blame. I believe there is next to nothing we can do about it. The Apocalypse Creed.

The Third World is industrializing, and the population grows; even if we cut greenhouse gases by half, we’ll still lose our cool. If we’re doomed to die from overheating, oh well. There are worse ways to go. It’s better than freezing. By the way, this is only pessimism if I am worried about it. I’m not.

Needless to say, I refuse to carry a reusable bag to the grocery store to tote my lunch back to the office in. This is not my protest against the grocery-bag ban. It’s my protest against looking and feeling like a dork. I can’t get used to a wadded-up nylon bag in my back pocket, and it makes me feel conspicuous holding it in my fist. I’m also cheap, though, so I don’t opt for the 20-cent fine for a paper sack, either. I choose to carry my fruit, Greek yogurt and salad in my bare hands for the town to scrutinize. Don’t think for a minute that my eating habits haven’t improved since the bag ban took effect. Unintended consequence No. 9.

It’s not as if I don’t feel like a goofball walking through town carrying my food in my paws. I do. It’s just not as silly as I feel with one of those reusable bags and an apple in the bottom swinging in time to my steps. I am pinned by the law. Aspen is a place where a person is socially engineered to carry his dog’s crap in a plastic bag in one hand and his lunch barehanded in the other, convinced it is so because he has freely made the choice to do it.

Anyone who tells you that you are anything but exposed around here no matter what you do has not been around long enough to know that you can get a hundred-dollar parking citation for letting your hybrid car’s parking sticker expire, as if the Prius might have otherwise turned into a diesel F-350 during the preceding 12 months and the meter maid can’t tell the difference.

This all comes up because of The Incident at City Market last week. I was extra hungry because I rode my bike in to work from home in Snowmass Village – not to save the planet but because it was a savagely beautiful Native American summer day and I thought it would be fun. Instead of the regular-size lunch that fits neatly into my hands, I grabbed an extra banana, a big one. I fit it between two fingers. To the left I held a nectarine tight with my pinkie, and to the right my thumb clutched an orange. I stacked a yogurt on top of my salad container and grabbed this loose bundle with my free hand. Two steps toward the door, and the two plastic containers slipped. As I tried to steady the load, the fruit went flying.

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The salad exploded with surprising force upon impact with the mat for the automatic sliding door. It hit so hard, in fact, that the sliding doors opened in time to allow my nectarine to roll on through. Who knows what happened to the banana? The orange was MIA. My focus was on that nectarine, perhaps because I knew they would soon be out of season.

I hoped to grab the nectarine nonchalantly, straighten up quickly and act like nothing happened, but as soon as it got outside, the sidewalk pitched slightly toward the parking lot, and the dang thing picked up speed. Now I was on a quest, pride be damned. I paid premium pricing for that piece of fruit. It was organic!

I was hunched over and duck-walking through the parking lot, hand extended, fruit keeping just beyond my reach. I could tell by how well it rolled that it wasn’t quite ripe, and yet I pursued. I wish I could say that I caught it, but that would be a lie. I only got it back when it came to rest against the back tire of a Zap car. I kid you not!

I will give you a moral to this story, and I apologize that it’s not a perfect fit. I didn’t get run over in the City Market parking lot, head down and distracted chasing a nectarine because of the plastic-bag ban, but I could have. Likewise, we could get wiped out by global warming, but it will probably be something else.