I had deduced from their behaviour that adults desired two things: money and small reusable bags.
One type of small reusable bag was the sort of airtight plastic bag in which you might store an uneaten sandwich in the refrigerator. This type of bag was not simply reusable but resealable, potentially making it the ultimate in small reusable bag technology.
Another sort of small reusable bag was the type of bag the bank might give you if you were to withdraw some money in the form of coins. The bag could hold £20 worth of pound coins, £40 worth of 50p coins and so on.
The sharp-minded among you will notice that this item combines the two main adult desires: small reusable bags and money. For this reason, these small reusable bags must be handled very carefully. If you were to use one to carry a mixture of pound coins and fifty-pence coins instead of the correct denomination/value, the bank would have to call the police and mummy and daddy would spend a night in the cells. Needless to say, this type of small reusable bag must always be taken very, very seriously.
The importance of small reusable bags is demonstrated in the following adventure:
At my primary school, there was a strange fad for collecting the springs from ballpoint pens. It seems curious now, but no more curious than the adult currency of small reusable bags. If there is enough room in the world for both the Sterling Pound and the American Dollar, there is surely also enough for small reusable bags and the springs from ballpoint pens.
I don’t want to blow my own trumpet too hard but my collection of springs from ballpoint pens was of a championship level. It was the second best in the whole class, second only to the collection of Christopher Quigley whose access to his father’s Parker Pen cabinet was quite an advantage.
I kept my springs from ballpoint pens inside my lifting lid desk but one day I decided to take them home, perhaps to show to my family in a springs-from-ballpoint-pens cabaret show. Since I had no container in which to transport them, I borrowed a small reusable bag from none other than spring connoisseur Christopher Quigley. He generously emptied 75p (a combination of twenty, ten and five-pence pieces: something I would eventually learn was highly inappropriate use of such a bag) into his desk and allowed me to borrow the bag for the evening.
The next day, perhaps drunk on the success of my springs from ballpoint pens orchestra, I returned to school without Christopher’s small reusable bag. It had completely slipped my childish mind.
When Christopher’s 75p went missing from his desk, an enquiry was launched.
The 75p had been prey to an unscrupulous classmate who had recognised the opportunity to strike. Without the small reusable bag to protect it, the 75p was ripe for the picking.
“You mustn’t take other people’s money bags,” the teacher told me firmly. I was beginning to think he had misunderstood the situation and that he was of the opinion that I had stolen the money. It soon became evident, however, that he was fully informed of the situation and it was the theft of the bag which irked him more than anything.
The shame I felt was immense. “You mustn’t take other people’s money bags” sounded as though I had conducted a proper robbery. Only now did I fully appreciate the importance invested by adults upon small reusable bags.
Now I’m adult myself, I don’t know what the fuss was about. I have a whole box of small reusable food bags in my kitchen and it cost me approximately 40p from the Supermarket. I’ve also discovered that small reusable money bags are available for free from the bank. You only have to ask.