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Sorry 'Bout the Power Crunch
by Alan Benson

As many of you have probably heard, California is right now in the midst of a wicked power crunch. Some might say that this was due to the state's half-assed deregulation plan. Others, including some folks in D.C. (I'm looking at you, Mr. Cheney), have suggested that the problem is that Californians just don't know how to conserve energy.

As galling as it is to agree with a man who lets himself be addressed by the name "Dick," I have to admit he's right. I mean, if I'd known there was going to be a power shortage, I...

...would have tried to learn to sleep without a night light.

...would have waited to deploy my electronic cabinet-door opener.

...probably wouldn't have set up my 5,000-watt pirate radio station that broadcasts the works of Christopher Cross to an appreciative nation.

...would have delayed my research into how many times a plate can be washed in a dishwasher before appreciable erosion sets in.

...would have changed my policy of washing and drying my socks individually. For that matter, I would have changed the related policy of switching socks every hour on the hour.

...almost certainly wouldn't have turned that old discarded tanning bed into the world's slowest-cooking oven.

...wouldn't have left all my lights on all the time, even if I do think it's my civic duty to make my apartment "a beacon for all mankind."

...would have stepped down the power I use to broadcast brainwave messages to the local tinfoil-hat contingent.

...probably would have concluded that deploying a 20-unit bank of VCRs making redundant copies of this season of "Digimon" was a bad idea.

...would have just apologized to the water company and used their floridated poison instead of making my own with a tank of oxygen, two of hydrogen, a bitchin' transformer, and that supercollider I found in Cal Tech's garbage.

...might have considered leaving some of my promotional neon beer lights unlit.

...wouldn't have announced to my building that April was "free electroshock month."

...most likely would have waited until later this year to set up the world's first inland lighthouse.

...would have put off installing that moving sidewalk in my one-room apartment until later this year.

...wouldn't have switched my car from internal combustion to 110 volt AC. (But you have to figure that purchasing the dozens of extension cords I needed to go from home to the nearest Starbucks helped the economy a little, right?)

...definitely wouldn't have had 37 hot air popcorn poppers running 24 hours a day in an attempt to corner the packing materials market.

Whew! I feel better. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a market to corner. Where'd I put my extension cords....

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