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Warmest Wishes

A message from your local futility company

By Will Durst


Recently, you may have noticed a slight increase in your utility bill. We here at YourEnergy apologize if this scant unforseen rise may have caused you or your family any inconvenience. Contrary to certain media reports, we want you to know we are doing everything in our power to keep costs low. Certain market forces too complicated for you to understand are responsible, so settle down for crum's sake and quit with these "gouging" and "collusion" charges. Jeez pete. You people have been skating for years and now we get a chance to make back a couple of measly bucks and you start whining like 4-year-olds at a carnival frog-marched past the pony rides.

The new deregulated process by which market rates are set is a very very complex business and best left to us, the professionals, and we don't need any "civilian review board" to help us, thank you very much. Maybe if you turned off your hot tub once in a while and quit driving hundreds of miles in your gargantuan SUVs to protest a tiny ascent in rates, in reality, nothing more than a correction, then we could all enjoy the fruits of the California economic boom and none of us would be forced to take drastic steps like rationing. If you get our meaning.

We here at YourEnergy think it's fair to say our energies are best spent collectively searching for solutions rather than in a futile campaign of name-calling, finger-pointing and regulatory-commission-hearing. As our President-Designee George W. Bush likes to say, this is a time for uniting, not dividing. So let us take this time now to unite together to explore possible answers to this crisis and spend less time filing injunctions and tying up an already crowded attorney general's calendar with silly time-consuming investigations.

For our part, we here at YourEnergy have invested time and money in an exhaustive research into the subject of everyday tips and tricks to save you money and keep the California ball rolling downhill. Spend a couple of minutes looking over these simple and fun hints on how all of our families can conserve. After all, we're in this together.

YourEnergy Tips to a Less Consumptive California

  • Walking to work is a wonderful way to exercise, and it helps to conserve energy, not to mention our roadways and public transportation seating consoles.

  • Lower your thermostat to 50. No, 45.

  • Sweaters. Sweaters are nice. In Paris it's known as the layered look.

  • Caulking. Caulk your kids.

  • Drink more coffee. A warm insides translates to a warm outsides.

  • Don't grouse, make lemonade. When the rolling brownouts sweep past your house, tell the kids you're practicing for an adventure trip to the Yukon. That way Mom can wear her mother's mink coat, and the whole family can pretend she's a polar bear and hunt her down. Running is always a good way to stay warm.

  • Look in the basement. Have unwanted furniture? Have a fireplace? You figure it out.

  • Eat out more. This will encourage local merchants as well.

  • Convince everybody in the household to take another job. That way, they'll be too tired to notice how cold it is.

  • Burn newspapers without reading them. Especially this one.

  • Hook up an exercising bicycle to the TV. Then, whoever wants to watch a particular program has to provide the power. This could work with the VCR, microwave and hair dryer as well.

  • Read aloud Jack London's Call of the Wild. If that doesn't cut it, try James Michener's Hawaii. If that fails as well, shadow puppets by candlelight are fun.

  • Sew together an effigy of Governor Gray Davis and huddle around while it flares.

    By rigid adherence to these few simple suggestions you will be able to slash your energy consumption considerably and we here at YourEnergy will be getting as much if not more money than before. Its a win-win situation for everybody. Thanks for your attention and good luck.

    Will Durst wonders where the logo guy made out of lightning bolts is when we need him.

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  • From the February 1-7, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

    Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

    For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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