Sometimes Dear Abby is just unbearably stupid. For example:
DEAR ABBY: I was sitting with a friend today, and we began talking about the rising gas prices. After a few minutes she said, “Why don’t Americans do what they do in Europe?”
I asked her what that was, and she told me that Europeans take a regular day off from driving — which not only saves gas but also brings families closer together. What an excellent idea for people here in the United States.
I think it is a simple solution to a growing problem and could make a huge difference. Do you think this is possible? — JIM H., NAPLES, FLA.
DEAR JIM H.: I certainly do. When people are determined enough, anything is possible. We may not be able to control gas prices, but we can decide how we want to spend our money. For those who need to economize, walking, riding bicycles, ride-sharing and public transportation are sensible solutions.
So shall I walk the 60 miles to Boulder one day a week? (On some days, Paul and I might be able to walk the first 15 miles together!) Or bike on busy roads through the foothills of the Rockies? Or ride-share with all those other graduate students living in Sedalia? Or use that non-existent public transportation? Or maybe I’ll just stay at home in bed with Paul. Although he’ll miss work and I’ll miss class, our little family will be “closer together”! Or maybe I’ll flap my arms and fly to Boulder, on the premise that “when people are determined enough, anything is possible”!
Here’s a better suggestion for Dear Abby: Use your clout to advocate eliminating the myriad inane government restrictions upon the supply of gasoline, such as in drilling and refining. That’s probably too much to ask, so I’d be happy if she didn’t publish inanities like the above.
Someone who knows more than I do about energy regulation might consider writing a brief, polite letter in response. Abby does sometimes publish replies — and if published, it will be read by many, many, many more people than any ordinary “Letter to the Editor.”