Diane Phillips: Before the 25 cents bag charge, who knew the handy uses of big bras?

Before the 25 cents bag charge, who knew the handy uses of big bras?

By: Diane Phillips

Here comes a group of women, all belonging to the same church. There’s something awry about their shape so you wonder if it has to do with their particular form of worship or was it what they served after Sunday School? It’s so bizarre that even though you usually refrain from staring at other women’s breasts lest they get the creepy impression that you lust after them which couldn’t be further from the truth, you can’t help yourself. You are glued to their fronts. There is definitely something going on here.

And then it hits you. They went to the food store AFTER church, found out that plastic bags cost 25 cents, said no way and valiantly proceeded to bag their own groceries in what they had at hand, pocketbooks, pockets and that ever useful piece of clothing that normally holds breasts above the waistline, bras. Amazingly, some of them, the better endowed, were able to cart home all the soda cans and bottles of juice just by jamming them down the handy, helpful bra.

Mystery solved but still you can’t help but stare. Is this really what strong, powerful Bahamian womankind has been reduced to, stuffing foodstuffs into brassieres, losing face to save a quarter? I don’t know whether to admire or admonish them and then I realize, it’s not their fault. The whole bag charge thing just took them by surprise.

In a way, it is hard to believe that the grocery bag issue has blown up as big as it has given the state of the world, what with Harry and Meghan dropping royal duties, Trump continuing to embarrass the US while playing to a base that believes he can do no wrong, and Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek fighting pancreatic cancer. Then, of course, there is the aftermath of Dorian but for now the 25-cent grocery bag is the 800-lb elephant in the room and it never had to be that way.

Lots of places have banned single-use plastics. The UK did it in 2015 and I’m told that compliance was almost immediate. Of course, the cost of plastic bags, if you wanted to go that way, was considerably less, 5 pence which is either a penny or less than a dime. Math is not my strong point especially when it comes to calculating conversion. Antigua and Barbuda banned single use plastic the following year, 2016. China, Romania, Senegal, Colombia, South Korea have all banned it. Do you see Chinese women stuffing bottles down their bras? No, but then they would have to be pretty small bottles.

So while I am first to admit the campaign could have been handled much better by partnering with those businesses that use single-use plastics including grocery stores, restaurants, lounges and more, and by demonstrating the pain and suffering plastic abuse causes wildlife and marine life and what it does to the environment long-term, I say the intention was definitely right.

It’s not too late to adjust the price or to amend the campaign to include the reasons why, nor is it too late to begin forging partnerships, but it is too late to turn back. The prime minister and others who say there is no going back are absolutely right. Don’t confuse the p’s – plastics and politics. This is not about electability. It is about survival of the planet and the life that depends upon it.

So congratulate the Minister of Environment for his strong stance and all those who have the courage to stand up for what’s right for the earth – and then, please, get on with fixing the campaign lest breast-feeding take on new meaning and men decide there’s a place they can lug home groceries, too. If I stare at that, please pardon me.

Speaking of what to wear & congrats, tutus and wigs off to Marathon Bahamas

Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend and Marathon Bahamas celebrate 10 years with the coming weekend’s activities, including a 26.2-mile full marathon which organizers call the premier endurance event in The Bahamas. There are others including Race for Pompey in Exuma and the Conchman Triathlon in Grand Bahama that may be equally physically challenging but none has ever equaled the kind of attention, sponsorship or funds that Susan G Komen Race for the Cure has. With participants from 31 countries registered, the events on Saturday and Sunday, January 18-19 will showcase not just the beauty of The Bahamas to people from around the world, but the heart and stamina of the people in a country beset by record high and heartbreaking rates of breast cancer. Hats and pink tutus off to the whole team at Sunshine Insurance who started this event, helped raise more than $400,000 over the years and expend so much energy every year making it a success. Team Diane Phillips & Associates will be on the course in full gear. Watch out for the ladies in hot pink!