Thursday, May 04, 2006

Carpool and Crapulence

Four entrepreneurs—Will, Steve, Les, and Doug—started carpooling to work because all of them agree that gas prices are a rip off. They’ve already enlisted their favorite lobbyists to urge the government to investigate price gouging at the pumps. Some mornings, Les drives while Will reads aloud passages from Daniel Yergin’s THE PRIZE. Other mornings, Will drives while the men sing show tunes or pub ballads and scratch each other behind the ears. But this morning, there’s tension: Doug slouches against the passenger door playing with the window. Down. Up. Down. The price of gasoline has gone up again, and now Steve is also resenting the wind in his hair as they do 55 mph on I94. “Quit it, Doug!” He snorts and continues the edgy conversation. “Wouldn’t you know it? Way back in the 1920s during Prohibition, the intention was to fix instability in oil rich regions such as Nigeria and Iran. Look where all that has gotten us! We may have been more clear-headed if they’d allowed people to consume alcohol while prohibiting engines to consume gas.” Doug pouts and interrupts, “Steve, how come you never drive?” “Doug, you know I haven’t volunteered to drive because my car’s tied up at PA meetings.” “PA?” “Yeah, it’s the new, hip temperance movement: Petrol Anonymous. As soon as my car kicks its junky habits, I’ll be able to drive us all to work.” Les interrupts what he thinks is an asinine conversation to tell the guys that he’s secured a national endowment. “I’m going to do lab test to see if my wife’s home-brewed, water-based, solar-and-wind-powered Love lube might not be used to fuel our engines.” Doug perks up and starts singing: “We'll get some overhead lifters and some four barrel quads oh yeah.” The other guys join in. “Keep talking whoa keep talking.” Doug: “A fuel injection cutoff and chrome plated rods oh yeah.” The guys: “I'll get the money. I'll kill to get the money.” Doug: “With a four speed on the floor they'll be waiting at the door. You know that ain't no shit we'll be getting lots of tit! In Grease Lightning.” Everyone: “Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go!” The tension exits the car through the turned down window, and all is well again.

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