Trout Republic


As soon as you read BYOB, I bet you thought Ol’ Dutch had fallen off the wagon and was suggesting that you “Bring Your Own Booze” to some pending future social event. And that is what the acronym has meant probably since Jesus turned the water into wine as He only did that once leaving future weddings on the dry side unless someone snuck in a fifth.

These days with all the focus on “green consumerism," BYOB has taken on a whole new meaning. Now, wherever we seem to go there is a big ole sign up there making sure you B (bring) Y (your) O (own) B (bag.) The first time Ol' Dutch recalls having to have my own bag was at the grocery chain, Aldi’s. They had long been a kind of wholesale grocery and would leave boxes laying around the store for a person to use packing groceries purchased to the car.

They do offer bags for 10 cents apiece but if you have learned anything about Miss Trixie, there is no way in hell she is going to pay a dime for a bag, so we take our own.

With the recent carryout bag law, we are on the path of “no bags” all in the name of being good stewards of the land but looking at stores' track records on environmental sins, I have a feeling they really don't care about adding bags to the landfill. As more stores opt out of providing bags at checkout, Ol’ Dutch just cannot seem to get used to the idea so unless Miss Trixie remembers to bring bags in for me when I visit a store, I end up taking the cart all the way to the Jeep with my stuff.

Now I don't want it to seem like Ol’ Dutch does not care about the environment because I do, but it's the hypocrisy that the whole going green movement embraces that just galls me. Recently Miss Trixie and I were in The Big Box store and Ol’ Dutch was wandering around the aisles just looking at random stuff. The one thing I began to notice was that every item in that store was made of plastic of some kind.

I was walking past the toy section and the only way there could be more plastic in a section is if there were no aisles. Every package was not only wrapped in plastic but the toys inside were plastic. too. So I began to try and find something not made from or with plastic parts and to tell you the truth I really could not find much. Even a steel tool had a plastic handle.

Moving past all the household things I soon realized that pillows and plastic cups, mattresses and refrigerators, crockpots and spoons and food containers and soap dispensers all are derived from our number one important commodity, oil. And from oil comes plastics. Even the food had to have oil to be produced so it seems like there is not one thing I can think of that does not require the black gold in some form or another.

I was able to focus long enough to get the things I needed including wiper blades, two quarts of oil (oil in an oil-based container) a camo shirt, two shirts for grand-daughters and a few other things. As I stood there in line with the “BRING YOUR OWN BAG” sign glaring at me in the face, I looked around to the other shoppers' carts to see just what exactly they had. And yes, every item was created from or wrapped in plastic.

The absolute insanity of it all really struck home for some reason and I was reminded of the new fad of paper straws to eliminate the plastic one from going to the landfill. Of course, that same paper straw is in a plastic wrapper so what did we actually save?

But regardless of the seemingly ridiculous effort to eliminate plastics by removing flimsy bags from our daily life, we are hooked on every form of plastic imaginable. So don't forget your reusable bag, made from plastic of course, when you go to your local stores as they just can't let you carry home plastic in their plastic.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is Additional news can be found at