Friday, December 26, 2014

Bob Dunning: Prius envy extends to Target parking lot


From page A2 | January 03, 2014 |

TARGETED AUDIENCE … while parking at Target the other day, I noticed a large number of close-in spots reserved for folks who drive hybrid vehicles, which is fine … I generally park near the back of the lot anyway, so no one can make fun of my car … I then spend several precious minutes reaching Target’s front door … I figure the exercise does me good … but apparently, folks who drive hybrids need to park closer to the store than I do …

“Hybrid Alt Fuel Vehicle Parking Only” the signs read … if you’re a peasant driving a pre-hybrid car, you’re flat out of luck … psychiatrists call this condition “Prius Envy” … the reason why one class of car owners is favored over another class of car owners is unclear … it could be that people driving hybrids aren’t as fit as the rest of us and all that extra walking would be bad for their health, not to mention their mood … or perhaps people who drive hybrids are in a bigger hurry than the rest of us, thus the need to be able to enter and exit quickly …

Or maybe folks who drive hybrids are so proud of their vehicles they want to park them up front where the unwashed masses can view them as they trudge from the back of the lot and into the store … or, since studies show that hybrid owners are more likely to believe in global warming than non-hybrid owners, they need to park closer to the air-conditioned store in case they perceive it to be a really hot day …

Whatever the reason, more power to them … I certainly don’t want to rain on their close-in parking parade …

WATER WISDOM … Nancy on the Westside says she’s been “very cautious” with her water usage lately and has actually reduced her gallons-per-day by half … good for you, Nancy … I suspect you’ll be up for Citizen of the Year one day soon … asks Nancy: “So how is it that your six-person family uses only 198 gallons of water per day, several gallons less than my 1-person family, plus two cats?” … did you say cats? … two of them? …

I think cats are your problem, Nancy … I know they seem to be low-maintenance, but after you’re in bed, they’ve been known to turn on taps all over the house, just for fun … get rid of the cats and watch your water usage plummet … “Do you have group showers and flushes?” she wants to know … “Do you pile all the laundry together, no matter the color and wash only once a month? Do you have the dog lick the dishes clean? Is the grass dying at Dunning Acres? Please let me know your secret. I am befuddled.” …

Nancy, you have to realize that if I let you and the rest of the world in on our water conservation secrets, water usage will plummet all over town and everyone’s rates will go up … somehow, the city has to pay for our fancy new water project, the cost of which is not tied to consumption … so, to help keep everyone’s rates down, it’s best I keep my family’s water practices under lock and key … it’s the least I can do for the old hometown …

BANNED IN DAVIS … those Davisites watching Wednesday’s Rose Bowl game were stunned to hear play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger urge viewers to enjoy the game and “throw another log on the fire” without first checking to see if it was a no-burn day … fortunately, Musberger was flagged for a personal foul …

FREEDOM OF SPEECH … all those who claimed the recent “Duck Dynasty” silliness was a violation of someone’s freedom of speech simply don’t understand the First Amendment … while the government is forbidden from throwing you in jail or fining you for saying something people might not like, there is no guarantee there won’t be private consequences for the words you utter … if the folks who hired you don’t like your words, they can let you go without any concern of violating your First Amendment rights …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





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