This week’s Smug Farmers’ Market find is not a vegetable, a fruit, a mode of display, or even putrid compost: it is a human, and it is Smug Scout’s nemesis. Now you may think it an unwise use of time to scrutinize the Smugness of other FM shoppers, but Smug Scout simply cannot help comparing herself and her Smug habits to those of every single person she sees at every single FM she visits. Part of the very essence of Smugness is how you rate in a Smug closed system that virtually no one cares about.
Sometimes a person comes along whose superior Smugness takes Smug Scout down a few notches. Such is the case with Smug Basket and Container Woman. While Smug Scout was selecting local organic Early Girl cherry tomatoes, of course individually, she spotted a woman who also selected them one by one, but this woman put hers in an organic cotton mesh bag. At this point Smug Scout inspected her competitor’s diverse other receptacles. In addition to multiple organic cotton mesh bags, she also had large European plastic containers and green plastic pint containers. All of these sat Smugly in a basket hand crafted by a barefoot native child in some famine-stricken banana republic. Smug Scout felt good about her Sea Bag, a recycled sail tote made by native Maine women, until she saw the woman turn a contemptuous eye to the Sea Bag’s overflowing reused plastic bag collection. This woman did not deign to speak to Smug Scout, but if she had, this is how the conversation would have gone:
- Smug Basket and Container Woman: Your bags look over-reused and toxic. I would not dream of carrying around so many old plastic bags when I can use organic cotton mesh bags that I wash with eco-friendly detergent in my own harvested rainwater.
- Smug Scout: Who are you? Zeus? Chaac? Indra?
- Smug Basket and Container Woman: What kind of crazy talk is that?
- Smug Scout: You are mythologically illiterate if you do not know the Greek, Mayan, and Hindu rain gods.
- Smug Basket and Container Woman: What does that have to do with your filthy old plastic bags?
- Smug Scout: It has everything to do with your filthy organic cotton mesh bags. It does not rain here. You could not possibly be harvesting more than a few drops of acid dew every night.
- Smug Basket and Container Woman: I live in Portsmouth.
- Smug Scout: Of course you do.
Smug Scout readily admits that many others out-Smug her. She is not a resident of Portsmouth, Brooklyn, or San Francisco. She does not drive a Prius, buy vegan shoes, or live in a repurposed shipping container full of Scandinavian reclaimed wood furniture. She even takes pride in her absolute refusal to buy an iPhone. However, since she also has a thriving and carefully curated collection of German plastic containers, she will not let Smug Basket and Container Woman out-Smug her for long.