Black Gold Blues by Margaret Baker

I am amused by the fact that though we Americans disagree on nearly everything we all seem to rally behind the need to reduce our dependence on Foreign oil. It’s one of those empty things politicians say to milk the applause while they flash the thumbs up and cop the photo op with a windmill. It’s like saying I’m pro-education or anti-crime. Just something to keep the booing at bay. I will fight for children. And what will your opponent do? Eat them? No one seems to agree on how to reduce the dreaded dependence on foreign oil just that the Yankee appetite is voracious and that the exotic stuff is starting to leave a bad scorched earth aftertaste. Fracking, drilling, biodiesel, solar Mr Coffees, lightening bugs in a jelly jar…no shortage of plans. No consensus. I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring of ignored suggestions and offer 3 ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

#1. Stop flying Justin Bieber’s pet monkey around all over the place. From Poland to LA to Munich to Hodenhagen which sounds more like an ice cream brand than a monkey destination.
It takes a lot of foreign oil to transport a celebrity primate and that oil could be better spent sending Reese Witherspoon’s donkeys to Belize.

#2. Power down those PlugIns. I’m talking about Glade PlugIns, cloying room perfumers with names like Passion Fruit and Starlit Evening. I was recently staying at a friends apartment while they were out of town. I unplugged a scented oil air freshener planning to plug it back in before I left. It leaked on an antique table and TOOK THE FINISH OFF the table. Turns out it takes chemicals used as solvents, pesticides, and embalming fluid to get teen athletic socks to smell like Warm Apple Pie. And really, after you’ve plugged in the Hawaiian Breeze Febreze doesn’t that cabbage fart just smell like a pina colada cabbage fart? And why the plug? Do those Pine Sol trees dangling from rear view mirrors need plugs? Do urinal cakes need plugs? If only we could all learn to accept stink like dogs and the Visigoths we could save kilowatts and battle vanilla induced nausea. Embrace the diaper pail. Be one with the litter box. Savor the sewer gas.

#3. Resist the urge to make really stupid plastic stuff. Plastic is a petroleum product which is an oil product which means we are really striving to reduce our dependence on Sporks and Silly Putty. The human morass of useless plastic junk is now so dense that when seen from outer space, earth resembles a Mr. Potato Head. Packaging is a prime example. After using the jaws of life to open your Lunchables you are always left with that little chunky shrine to petrochemicals. Apparently our compulsion to compartmentalize baloney and Ritz crackers is that strong. I know we all feel safer knowing our cotton swabs and googly eyes have been stored in a bullet-proof bunker of NASA approved molding but taking one for the team may mean letting our commodities flap naked in the breeze.

– Margaret Baker, LBSPY 37 (July 15-29)

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LBSPY is a free, full color arts and entertainment tabloid dedicated to providing useful information in the areas of Greenbrier County, Pocahontas County, parts of Alleghany County, and more. We distribute 7,000, full color issues every month.


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