Jewish World Review Nov 30, 2011 / 4 Kislev, 5772
Do-gooder gets deserved earful
By Dan K. Thomasson
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm not in the habit of passing along anything from the blizzard of frequently clever, often outrageous, mostly anonymous and sometimes funny but surprisingly right-on-target Internet offerings forwarded by friends. Most of them, I have learned not to open.
But at the risk of being accused by my journalistic colleagues of being bereft of any fresh ideas or taking the cheap way out of producing a column, I couldn't resist passing this on. In this season when we are supposed to be thankful, many of us of a certain age can look back and not only be unashamed but grateful about the way we were. It is a short treatise on the cost, as Kermit the frog might say, of being green.
Checking out at the grocery store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic ones weren't good for the environment.
"That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations, including mine," the clerk admonished.
The customer paused, thought a moment and then launched an eloquent defense of her generation.
"You're right," she said. "Our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. Back then we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled so they could be used over and over. In other words, they really were recycled. But we really didn't have the green thing back then.
"We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an energy-burning escalator in every store and office building and we didn't climb into a 300-horseposwer pollution machine when we had to go a mere two blocks. But we didn't have the green thing.
"Back then, we had one TV or radio in the house, not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief not one that looked like the size of Montana. In the Kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because most of us we didn't have power draining machines to do everything for us.
"When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or bubble wrap. Back then we didn't fire up a riding mower and burn gasoline. We used a pusher that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run power consuming treadmills that operate on electricity. But you're right we didn't have the green thing.
"We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle and we refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen when it ran out. We replaced a dull razor blade with a new one instead of throwing away the whole razor. But we didn't have the green thing.
"People took the streetcar or bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into 24-hour taxi services. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. We didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint."
She finished her lesson to the startled clerk by noting how sad it is that "your generation" laments how wasteful "we old folks were" because "we obviously didn't have the green thing back then."
Then just as she was picking up her plastic bags full of groceries, she stopped and looked at the clerk. "Don't misunderstand," she said in a kindly tone. "I don't want to turn back the clock, but just to remind you that all the conveniences we both enjoy come with a large price no matter what their color. Bless your heart, dear, and have a nice day."
So in the interest of complying with the directions at the bottom of this missive, I am passing it on to all the other selfish old people who have received a lecture from a smart-mouthed young person.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
• 11/24/11: Lawmakers should pledge to think on their own
• 11/22/11: Iowa: Vital to GOP now, irrelevant later
• 11/16/11: Pentagon's senior mentor service takes hit
• 11/14/11: With Congress, expect more intransigence
• 11/08/11: Paterno's illustrious career faces tarnished end
• 10/31/11: The FBI is burned by its Boston informants
• 10/18//11: President Inexperienced again picked style and enthusiasm over caution. He must pay
• 10/10/11: Prosecutors routinely abuse plea bargaining
• 10/04/11: In Christie,shades of William Howard Taft
• 09/27/11: One word for Obama's prospects --- bleak
• 09/26/11: Obama quickly running out of time
• 09/23/11: Big-time college football is now all about the money
• 09/22/11: A trip to the dentist cleans out your wallet
• 09/06/11: College rankings a useless exercise
• 08/31/11: Thankful a mother isn't alive to see this hungry mess
• 08/30/11: Supercommittee should meet in secret
• 08/22/11: Is college still worth it? Some majors are
• 08/15/11: Pray for miracle from debt committee
• 08/09/11: S&P mixes credit ratings with politics
• 08/08/11: Politics again takes precedence over common sense
• 08/04/11: In modern society, a distinct pattern of senselessness
• 07/29/11: A debt solution: Throw the rascals out, all of them
• 07/21/11: Campaign finance reform --- you're kidding, right!?
• 07/08/11: Casey Anthony jury did its job
• 07/05/11: Nailing a prominent figure or institution should come at a heavy risk and an even greater price if proven a hoax
© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE