As I stood in line at the Sainbury's, I decided that I was going to be environmentally friendly and not accept a paper bag for my purchase. I am perfectly capable of carrying it outside.
Once outside, I immediately regretted my decision. I walked about 300 meters carrying a box of Bran Flakes under my arm.
Got the visual?
I felt like an ass.
Can you imagine a more unattractive commodity to carry in public, unbagged, than Bran Flakes? Carrying a box of cereal is one thing ("Geez, I guess this guy really likes his cereal, considering it's the only thing he bought."), but Bran Flakes is quite another ("Geez, I guess this guy has compacted bowels or something.") I felt like the box should have been wrapped in porn magazine black plastic. It might have hidden my shame-- or at least tricked others into thinking it was more interesting than Bran Flakes.
Don't get me wrong: I like Bran Flakes. I mean, I really like them. Good firm texture. Perfect balance of milk soakage to milk deterrence, thereby avoiding soggy slop. Bargain value weight to volume ratio. But, I don't go parading the stuff around like Johnny Appleflakes. It's just not civil.
So I walked, in daylight, down High Holborn with my Bran Flakes tucked ashamedly underneath my left armpit, trying to look as casual as I could and trying not to look fellow pedestrains in the eye.