Random Shots: The Prices of Progress

Against the Current, No. 93, July/August 2001

R.F. Kampfer

BACK IN 1965 you could fill your gas tank for $3. Of course, that was two hours pay back then.

On the other hand, looking at the price of crayfish these days, it’s hard to remember when they used to be food for the poorest of the poor.

Rising gas prices are a great excuse for the middle-aged male to buy a motorcycle.

Speaking of conservation, think of all the energy we could save by not mowing our lawns this summer.

Hollywood is trying to bring back the classical musical with a new version of Moulin Rouge. Whenever that chorus line started dancing down the big staircase, that was my cue to go for popcorn.

John F. Kennedy was said to get his international outlook from Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. Dubya seems to be reading Tom Clancy.

Fun and Games

PLAYOFF POST-MORTEM: A Detroit Red Wings’ game is just a waste of good octopus.

Nicole Hollander’s Sylvia is one of the few characters in the comic strips who still smokes. You go girl.

Kampfer’s car is known affectionately to the family as The Ashtray.

Why is it that some hunters will travel hundreds of miles and wade through freezing swamps in hopes of shooting a Canada Goose for dinner, instead of just grabbing one off the local golf course?

Etiquette for Beginners

DEAR MS. MANNERS: I know that women like to have it noticed when they change their appearance, but what about when they dye their hair? Should I compliment her, or pretend that it’s always been that shade – Perplexed.

Dear Perplexed: If the dye-job is done to conceal the G word, it should not be noticed. If it is a color not found in nature, then compliments may be in order.

Satisfying Conclusions

ONE OF THE common themes in Hollywood movies is the aging outlaw who wants to make one more big score and then retire. Most of the few who achieved this in real life generally drank themselves to death within six months, out of sheer boredom.

If the Chinese government had sent that U.S. spy plane crew home right away, Washington would have demanded the plane back immediately. By keeping the crew, China made the plane a secondary issue.

Quotes of the Month:

“I want to build pipelines to move natural gas. I want to develop coal resources. It’s an issue I know a lot about. I was a small oil person for a while.” –George W. Bush, Presidential Debate (Boston), October 2000.

“Already we’ve got the highest housing prices in the province and there’s more cocaine around than you can imagine.” –Anne Dort McLean, director of a social service agency for young girls in Fort McMurray, a newly booming oil town in northern Alberta, Canada.

(Thanks to our friends at New Internationalist, June 2001 for these beautiful tidbits.)

from ATC 93 (July/August 2001)>