Dog roll is filthy stuff, a confection of membranes, organs and other bits of beast we can't quite bring ourselves to sell to our own kind, even in hamburger patties.

The mess is held together with fillers, drenched in just-about-legal preservatives and sold in cylinders wrapped in plastic on which are printed words like "hearty steak and vegetables" and pictures of retrievers fetching sticks adorably for freckled children.

Cut the first slice from a dog roll and the exposed end oozes a liquid which you quite emphatically don't want puddling in the bottom of the fridge among the salad vegetables.

The solution, which I have been using for 30 years of dog ownership and of which you are most welcome to avail yourself, is to wrap the partial dog roll in one of those plastic supermarket bags that they are now in the process of banning.

Will brown paper bags be able to cope with the moisture from a pack of frozen vegetables? Getty Images
Will brown paper bags be able to cope with the moisture from a pack of frozen vegetables? Getty Images

Under my kitchen sink stands a waste bin that I find useful. Being in the kitchen it becomes the receptacle for all sorts of sodden, nasty oddments including scraps of dog-roll wrapper.

By a curious piece of design that I have never quite understood the bin cannot be removed from its housing without first removing the sink and all its associated plumbing. So in order to clean the bin I have to kneel.

Now, kneeling these days takes a toll, and standing again after kneeling requires the sort of grunts and gasps of exertion that are popular among professional female tennis players. So to reduce the frequency with which I have to clean the bin, I have taken to lining it with, would you believe, the plastic supermarket bags that they are now in the process of banning.

I am about to go overseas to visit my ancient mother who is suffering the sort of demeaning last few years of life that I would wish on no one. It will be summer where my mother lives and though I shall have to do little kneeling on my travels, nevertheless there will be mild exertion and after a few days of the trip most of the clothes in my bag will be soiled with sweat and other exudations.

To segregate the soiled clothes from the unsoiled, I have devised a system, which you are most welcome to adopt yourself when travelling, of placing the soiled garments into - can you guess? - one of those plastic supermarket bags that they are now in the process of banning.

At the checkout of my local supermarket I am currently offered a choice. Esteemed customer, it says, it is our privilege to offer you at the cost of 25 cents a brown paper bag with glued-on handles in which you can carry home your purchases with a conscience so clean that nuns could eat off it.

Please note, however, that should you be purchasing anything other than boxes of polystyrene or bags of feathers there is considerable risk that as you lug your groceries virtuously home one of the glued on handles may cease to become glued.

There is a further risk that one flank of your brown paper bag will gather moisture from a pack of frozen vegetables, perhaps, or even, god forfend, from a split in the wrapper of your dog roll, and once moistened will prove susceptible to splitting at a sudden jolt, such as, for example, the time you were surprised by a vehicle turning suddenly onto London St from Canterbury St and obliged to dash for the kerb.


Oh how much pleasure onlookers derived from the sight of your groceries scattered across the asphalt.

Alternatively, esteemed customer, should you wish to be seen as a slayer of turtles and an ensnarer of dolphins we will continue, while holding our virtuous noses, to supply you with the free plastic bags for which you have found so many uses over the years and which you have unfailingly placed in the red bin for the council to dispose of when you have finished with them, so that if they have found their way from there into the oceans you can hardly be held responsible.

But please be aware that, for environmental reasons it would be churlish of you to question, we shall be providing these bags only until the end of this month.

After that date, should you find that you continue to need plastic bags for the containment of dog roll or the segregation of underpants in your luggage, we shall of course be only too pleased to sell them to you.

They will be available in the aisle marked Suckers. Should you wish to complain you will find us on the moral high ground, moving towards the bank, and laughing all the way thereunto.