Monday, October 03, 2005

It's a thin line

There was a funny Op-Ed piece in today's New York Times, courtesy of Rick Moranis. Well, I think it was funny. It might just be that I was so excited to be able to read a NY Times Op-Ed piece without having to pay for it. (Uniongrrl has been providing a generous public service at Cyphering most days by posting several columns since "TimesSelect" went into effect.)

Moranis' column responds to President Bush's recent plea to the American people for "being better conservers," to conserve gas by avoiding "non-essential driving" as prices continue to rise. But what exactly constitutes "non-essential" driving? Where should the line be drawn? Here's one way Moranis is handling the quandary:

"Dear Micki and Stan,

I've decided that we will not be coming to Shelley's wedding in December. (By the way, congratulations again on this wonderful event in your lives. You should be very proud and happy with how terrifically things have turned out.) Unfortunately for us, a wedding in Westport would require non-essential driving and I must honor President Bush's wishes to limit the amount of energy I consume in order to do my part during these difficult and challenging times for our country."

Hey, that's pretty noble. And clever! I hadn't even considered something like that. Now I'm inspired. This could be a great way to get out of attending Thanksgiving dinner. "Dear Aunt Lesslee, as much as I want to completely stuff my face, distend my belly, and engage in awkward, obligatory conversation, the right thing to do as a good American this year is to pass on driving down to your house."

That's why I'm sitting here blogging, in fact. I'm hungry and would like some lunch, but going to the drive-thru at Wendy's might constitute non-essential driving, especially with all that car idling. Or is it essential because I need to eat? No, I can fix a bowl of soup here. And hey, my stove is electric, so I'll still be conserving gas! Or maybe I should just make a sandwich. There's a lot to think about. My forehead's beginning to ache. It hurts even more when I consider another question Moranis raised:

"One thing puzzles me the most. Why has no one come out against auto racing? Every weekend in this county, millions of people get in their silly souped-up cars and drive to huge stadiums to watch other people drive around in circles at ridiculously high speeds. There's no way those race cars are fuel-efficient."

Man, great point. Of course, I don't give two $#!+s about auto racing. I try to watch more sports that better conserve fuel like football. Or even better, baseball.

Thank you, Mr. Moranis. I'm always grateful whenever someone gives me something to think about. You were already cool in my book, because you were Dark Helmet. (And, of course, Doug McKenzie. But I have to be honest; my memory's getting a little fuzzy on that. It's been a long time.) Take care, eh?