Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cutting through jello with a very sharp knife - blogathong

This is an entry for the blogathong, which I heard about from Scary Scary Quite Contrary. I don't know many details about it other than people are expected to write a blog a day, Monday to Friday, for the next 25 days. I like that idea. I've been too lazy lately.

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I haven’t driven a car in over a year.

My driver’s license expired in 2006 while I was out of the country, and I haven’t bothered to renew it. The last time I remember driving, I did so illegally to pick up a friend at the train station. I only drove on the way there; I think I gave him the keys on the way back.

It’s not that I don’t like driving, piloting a two ton deathtrap can be exciting and interesting fun, it’s just that I don’t like motoring’s consequences.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of any time that someone got pinched when the cops randomly pulled them over and searched their bicycle. I’m sure it has happened – everything under the sun is bound to happen sooner or later (which is why I have a standing bet on the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series every year) – but it doesn’t happen all that often, and a safe gambler plays the odds.

When I first started driving, gas cost about eighty-eight or eighty-nine cents a gallon, which is about thirteen cents a gallon in 1950s money. I stopped driving shortly after Hurricane Katrina pushed gas prices above the three dollar mark for the first time in my life. I could probably have afforded to pay for gas at that price, but it reminded me that there were grimmer times ahead and I didn’t want to keep pouring my money into a consumable energy source that isn’t fried, baked, or covered in powdered sugar.

Since I’ve been out of the US, gas prices skyrocketed for a while. I read some stories that said gas breached the four dollar per gallon boundary. If I had been in the US, that might have shocked me; however, I live in a foreign country where people regularly pay upwards of six or seven dollars per gallon, and they would think Americans are a bunch of crying pussies for getting some of the world’s cheapest gas and still whining about it.

They’re probably right, but that shouldn’t bother anyone. Everybody loves a little pussy every now and again, even if you have to put up with some crying to get it. Just as you’ll listen to a prospective girlfriend go on and on about how her uncles got her alone one Christmas and, while still in full costume and on their break from their seasonal jobs as department stores Santas, they held her down and forcibly molested her, just to relax her into letting you put it in her pooper; so too does the rest of the world take American braggadocio in stride as long as we keep the quality pornography, Hollywood blockbusters, and bacon flavored nicotine gum freely flowing. That’s why you Americans, myself included, shouldn’t feel bad, or angry, when the rest of the world calls us a bunch of pussies, because, for all our guns, gigantic trucks, and heavy metal, we can’t help what we are and people seem to want that part of our public image.

On the other hand, the rest of the world has every right to disdain us for our stupidity, because, as Americans, we are some of the stupidest people on the planet.

You know that things are in a poor state in your home country when a Canadian stops trying to recharge their Moose just to tell us how dumb we are.

When gas prices went up, everybody said that there was a whole lot less traffic on the roads because people were driving less; that makes sense, since the high gasoline costs would put luxury driving out of most Americans’ reach; however, now that gasoline prices have fallen slightly, people are taking to the road again in record numbers. If that’s not the height of stupidity then I don’t know what is, but you’ll have to tell me soon, because I’ll need to re-engrave the trophy I made for America.

Oil is a renewable resource; unfortunately for us, it takes so long to renew that by the time what organic material is currently converting to fossil fuels finishes the process, we’ll have long depleted our refinery knowledge and our descendents will be too busy hiding from the sun and making loincloths to remember how to use it. Given that it takes such a long time to create, you’d think that human beings would be a little more cautious with their oil usage.


It’s about time that we got sensible about our gasoline and started burning it only at the bare minimum rate we absolutely need.

There’s no reason why you should drive if your destination is less than thirty miles away.

Thirty miles is the distance that an average human being can travel on foot if they move at the average rate of four miles per hour over eight hours… well, technically seven and a half, but you will probably need to stop and eat at least once during your excursion.

On Sunday, you could spend a relaxing morning with your family, and then set off on your weekly trek to the office. You would only need a few shirts, one or two pairs of pants, a pair of shoes, and a tent. Once you get in, just set up a camp somewhere in the parking lot, and shower in the bathrooms either early in the morning, before people come in, or in the evening after everyone has gone.

On Friday, you could pack up your things and head back for a relaxing day and a half at home before doing the whole thing again.

Okay, so maybe the idea is a little impractical, being as how it doesn’t make sense to pay for rent in an apartment where you spend only 36 hours out of a week; so, if you’ve got a family, you can rest easy knowing that your hard work and self sacrifice gives some spoiled, thankless brat a chance to grow up into a person that doesn’t have to sleep in an office complex parking lot, and if you’re single, that means you’re free to live at your office around the clock.

If that’s the case, forget the tent, just drape a sheet over your cubicle, put some old computer equipment motherboards on pikes outside the entrance, and sleep underneath your desk. It might take some getting used to at first, but when you build up strength, you can start taking over some of the other cubicles and recruiting man power for your fledgling chiefdom.

The important thing is that you’ll never have to drive again.

Sex Mahoney for President

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Prolonging the Magic
by Cake
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