Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced a revision yesterday to his plan to charge city residents for using plastic and paper bags at area grocery stores: The “price” of a bag will rise to $1 for paper and $2 for plastic, a jump from the original fee of 10 cents for paper and 20 cents for plastic.
The fee program was approved by the city council last summer, and has met with substantial resistance from local merchants, tourists, and pretty much everyone one except the mayor.
“We, or rather I, feel it is imperative to make this fine, err, I mean green-use fee sting, in order to teach the upstanding, if obstinate citizens of our eco-friendly city that hurting the earth simply does not pay,” Nickels said Friday afternoon at a press conference hastily organized on the steps of city hall.
As a plastic bag rolled by in the mid-summer wind, the mayor gripped both sides of the podium tightly.
“I can’t believe you, or… err… I mean, certain individuals, have chosen to destroy the planet,” he said, his facing glowing.
In response to a barrage of questions from local media, the mayor simply shook his head violently.
“No, no, no!” he shouted. “You’re still not getting it! I am your king, your nanny-in-chief!”
Pieces of spittle flew from the corners of the mayor’s mouth, as the small crowd of reporters backed away, slowly retreating down the steps.
Nickels began waving his arms, and appeared, one reporter noted, to be “losing it.”
“You will obey me! I am America’s greenest mayor! I am the incarnation of Captain Planet!”
At this point, the mayor’s staff rushed to his side and appeared to tranquilize him. He crumpled to the concrete steps, yelling incoherently.
Before the mayor lost consciousness, muffled shouts of “bow down to me!” and “I am your nanny-king” faded into soft sniffling noises. Nickels sobbed quietly as he was carted off by his aides.
“His Highness will not be taking any more questions today,” said Spokesman/Herald Alex Fryer. “You are all ordered to return to your homes and await further instructions.”