Walk by the gas sta­tion

We are slaves to our au­to­mo­biles and the juice that makes them run and that gets us into harm’s way and al­lows oil com­pa­nies to make us all feel like a bunch of dip­sticks for what we have to pay for gaso­line.

The Covington News - - News -

We could walk a lot more in this coun­try. That’s what I said. We could ac­tu­ally walk more.

If we walk more and drive our cars less, then maybe we could be­come less de­pen­dent on for­eign oil so when some sheik of the burn­ing sands de­cided to take over Lower Oil­rich­abia, we could ig­nore him.

There wouldn’t be any need to send over our troops and planes, no rea­son to worry about chem­i­cal war­fare, no rea­son to bug Henry Kissinger for in­ter­views, no rea­son to bring up that nasty word “Ar­maged­don,” no rea­son to have to pay $87.50 a gal­lon at the neigh­bor­hood Tex­aco, and no rea­son for Dan Quayle to say, “Please, Ge­orge, don’t die on me now.”

I used to walk all the time. Be­fore I got a bi­cy­cle, I had to walk prac­ti­cally ev­ery­where I couldn’t con­vince an adult to drive me.

If I got thirsty and my mother said, “Walk, it’ll be good for you,” when I asked her to drive me to Cure­ton and Coal’s store for a big or­ange, I’d have to hoof it a half-mile to the store and back.

I even walked all the way to Bobby En­trekin’s house one day. It was two miles both ways. He had in­vited me over to play cow­boys and punk rock­ers.

But it was a pleas­ant, en­light­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

On the way, I saw a dead opos­sum in the road, I found a pointed rock that could have been an ar­row- head, I kicked an empty pork and beans can at least a mile, and I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I de­cided the next time an adult asked me about it, I would say, “I want to star in porno films” and see the look that would bring.

But af­ter I got my bike and then got old enough to drive, I gave up walk­ing, as have many of us.

Two of the three times I got mar­ried, I drove down the aisle. The other time, I took a cab.

I prob­a­bly would drive be­tween rooms in my house, but my car won’t fit through the front door.

We are slaves to our au­to­mo­biles and the juice that makes them run and that gets us into harm’s way and al­lows oil com­pa­nies to make us all feel like a bunch of dip­sticks for what we have to pay for gaso­line.

Let’s all start walk­ing more and driv­ing less. We could start with me.

The con­ve­nience store where I buy pork and beans and copies of the En­quirer is less than a half-mile away. I could walk there.

I could walk to the video store to rent “Naughty Fe­male At­tor­neys” and “Debbie Does Fargo, North Dakota,” nei­ther of which I had a part in, in­ci­den­tally.

I could walk to a friend’s house to play cow­boys and rap groups, and I could walk to my ex-girl­friend’s house when I for­get I am an in­sen­si­tive, ar­ro­gant, selfish jerk and need to be re­minded.

Join me, Amer­ica. Let’s go for a walk and give Ahab the Arab and John D. Rock­er­per­son a bad case of gas.

Lewis Griz­zard was a syndicated colum­nist, who took pride in his South­ern roots and of­ten wrote about them. This col­umn is part of a col­lec­tion of his work.

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