Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Soylent Green is peeeeeeople!" - Charlton Heston, Soylent Green

My Mom would be seriously hacked at me if I left these lights on.

Tonight I decided to write about the way that Houston is just a wee bit opulent.

“What’s opulent about it?” asked The Mrs. Good question. She’s always the one that nails me when I say, “ironic” and really mean, “dumb coincidence,” or “talented” and mean “Sean Penn.” Stupid Mrs.

“Okay,” I suavely replied, after looking up how to spell ‘suavely.’ “Wasteful.”

“How?” she challenged.

“They leave the lights on,” I said.

“Welcome to America. Have you been here long?” said The Mrs. Stupid Mrs.

Okay, okay. The Mrs. is right. It is something I’m used to seeing. I grew up around places where we had all that new-fangled electricity, and the town fathers saw fit to flaunt the community’s cash by leaving the traffic lights on at 3:30 AM.

My mother would have seriously killed me for that. I could not walk out of a room and leave a light on or else, in less time than it takes Britney Spears to shave off her hair and fire up a Marlboro, my mother’s voice would boom . . .

“Turn off that light, do you think we own the electric company?”

(For point of fact, my mother’s voice did boom. Sort of like Orson Welles. Or maybe Charlton Heston in Soylent Green when he said, “I ate what?”)

Me, I drive home from work and see that huge numbers of lights are on in the skyscrapers. I know that they’re not working, unless it’s Enron by Day/Strip Club by Night. (Perhaps if Enron had rented out its space at night to a strip club, they wouldn’t have run out of money. Those chicks haul in some mad cash. I heard about this one that made $88 million.)

No, those lights are on in those towers over endless rows of cube farms, the hapless cubical dwellers having gone home for the evening to graze. Yet, the towers are all aglow with the unhealthy gleam of fluorescent lighting, security cameras and lonely snack vending machines. It’s a waste.

As I drive home, the endless miles of freeways are lit as bright as noon with endless rows of streetlights. I decided to do an experiment to see if all of these streetlights were necessary, so I drove out into the country, away from the streetlights (by that time I was in Nebraska). I steadied myself as I passed the last light, my headlights cutting through the dark. Would I end up having 2600 pounds of steel and plastic wrapped around me like the gentle arms of a steel and plastic lover? Nay.

I survived. I guess that’s why cars have headlights. In Houston, however, we have endless rows of streetlights in case, oh, we forgot it was dark or something.

You might think I was a member of some sort of neo-luddite anarchist group dedicated to removing all traces of society and humanity from the earth. Or that I am Al Gore. I am not Al Gore, but then again, I’m not sure he is, either.

No. I’m cheap. I’m irritated that I’m paying tax dollars for electricity because the last car through forgot to turn off the lights.

So, I got out my trusty pellet gun and put out the lights.*

Mom would be proud. The Houston cops, too. This saves them more electricity for the Tasers.

*John Wilder does not own a pellet gun, stock in a pellet gun manufacturer, and is in fact allergic to Tasers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do these things stress you out and cause ulcers?

I must admit I agree though. Its the mentality that bigger/brighter is better. TX wants to be seen from space. As a matter of fact, so does many other states and cities.

Outside shooting out all the lights, there really isn't much a person can do. Besides, shooting out lights will only cost more money because they will absolutely replace them.

Sit down in a dark room and have a cold beer..... ahhh.... forget about all those lights. Feel better?


5:09 AM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

you probably turn off your computer when your not using it, don't you?

7:16 AM  
Blogger John said...

Nope. Getting things I promised in the mail late does, though.

mmmmm . . . beer.

Thank you.

duck hunter,
Yup. And I replaced all of my bulbs with the super energy saver ones.

I don't care about the earth.

I'm cheap.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

My friend, you are skating on thin ice--I mean walking through quicksand by calling the Mrs. "stupid." How badly did she hurt you? If she didn't, the Alaska chapter of WAMI (Wives Against Male Insults) will send a contingent to Texas to set you straight.

Mrs., let me know if I need to rally the troops.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Janitors: people who clean offices at night.... with the lights on

Night shift: people who work at night.. with the lights on..

When you shoot out those street lights be sure to reload.. you will need the ammo to fight off the scary creatures that love the dark!

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't stress about things that are late getting to the mail! Just blame it on the Mrs. :)

4:14 PM  
Blogger John said...

dame koldfoot,
The Mrs. was there, hitting me as I wrote.

No troops, please!!

dj in th oc,
Yeah, but this is way after the janitors are gone, and the night shift isn't so much in the skyscrapers 'round here.

Ahhhhh . . . must have reloads.

Nope, 'twas me.

5:24 PM  

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