Barry Smith: Irrelativity
Ryan Summerlin April 21, 2013
Happy Earth Day! Today’s a day to get out there and do something nice for this silly old planet of ours.
Really, it deserves it. It works hard, 40 to 50 hours a week, rarely complains and is always there to catch you when you fall.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, good for you, hippie. But what’s a busy person like me supposed to do for the Earth? It’s not like I have a ‘Nice Things to Do for the Earth’ list conveniently lying around anywhere.”
• Email the Earth links to some adorable cat videos.
• Contribute what you can to the Planet Protection Program, wherein the Earth will be shipped off to another galaxy and given a totally new identity, fake mustache, the whole bit. This will make it feel safe from those who are clearly out to get it.
• Always remember the 12 R’s: Reduce. Reuse. Recapitulate. Reimburse. Religiously rewatch regurgitated reruns regarding reptile restrooms. Recycle.
• If you see someone opt for plastic bags at the grocery store, help them secure an extra one around their head. What’s one more plastic bag gonna matter at this point?
• Invite the Earth to a local workshop on how to make better choices. Remember, we can save the Earth but only if the Earth wants to be saved.
• Send the Earth a nice text during the week, something light and cheerful. “Hope ur having a good day! Thanks 4 the flowers lol.” Or if the two of you have a more familiar relationship, text the Earth a picture of yourself naked.
• Get some friends together to chip in on a gift certificate for a free massage. How do you massage the Earth? Backhoe.
• Write a song for Earth. In case songwriting doesn’t come easily to you, here are some suggested words for rhyming: girth, dearth, breech birth, quirth, Perth, Fort Worth and P. Wellington Wentworth, Esq. (The “Esq” is silent.)
• Urge lawmakers to further reduce gun-control laws, such that animals are legally allowed to be armed with no background check. Imagine if the dolphins had guns. We’d be a bit more hesitant to make them jump through hoops for tiny pieces of fish. Probably wouldn’t eat as many dolphin burgers, either.
• Create a petition to propose a local initiative for reducing waste. When you go to make copies, push the button too many times and accidentally make 10,000 instead of 10. Throw the extras away. No point in overwhelming yourself. How can you help the Earth if you’re overwhelmed? Sheesh.
• Have a dinner party. Ignore your guests’ disappointment when they learn that you won’t be serving your signature “endangered-species goulash.”
• Make the Earth a cute, thoughtful little gift in your ceramics class, like a pencil cup or a vase or an ashtray.
• Thank the Earth for her bounty by taking better care of yourself, including getting some exercise every day. Exercising your right to allow gas companies to drill on your land, though technically an exercise, isn’t going to give you the cardio you need.
• Become a vegan. But become one of those vegans who don’t like to talk a lot about it or deride others for their dietary choices. Ha! Kidding!
• Turn your thermostat down. But not so far that you’re not cozy. What’s the point of helping the Earth if if means being chilly?
• Wear a T-shirt with a picture of the Earth on it. But make sure it’s a flattering picture of a young, sexy Earth. Nothing recent. That would make it feel old.
• Drive to an Earth Day rally. Accidentally leave your car running and the A/C on while you picnic. Make your “I Heart Gaia” sign out of cardboard from a non-Energy Star-rated refrigerator box. Misspell “Gaia.” Absentmindedly throw an old tire onto the bonfire, thinking it might make some cool colors. Only eat half of your dolphin burger, and toss the rest in the trash can labeled “glass only.”
• Vow to do better next Earth Day.
Barry Smith’s column appears Mondays in The Aspen Times. Smith is a writer, comedian and filmmaker living in Colorado. His solo show, “Jesus in Montana: Adventures in a Doomsday Cult,” won Outstanding Solo Show at the New York International Fringe Festival.