Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Mr. Debonair

Dear Mr. Debonair,

I read recently that Sheryl Crow (one of my fave musicians!) is touring America with environmental activist Laurie David in order to promote conservation and environmental responsibility. Don’t you think that there is a place for saving the Earth in the world of etiquette?

Janet Planet

Dear Miss Planet,

I most certainly agree that Conservation and Environmental Sensitivity are issues that must be addressed by all of us...even when we are being polite. Sheryl Crow and Laurie David, in fact, in conducting their Short Bus-Tour of the Continental United States to alert the populace to the dangers of Global Warming, are setting a rather high standard for all of us to emulate.

They are traveling in a biodiesel-fueled Omnibus. Not only does this conserve valuable fossil fuel, but it also leaves behind it a vapor cloud redolent of French Fries. Mmmmm...fries! How gracious of them to use their not-insignificant Carbon Footprint to stimulate the appetities of random Passers-By.

Miss Crow is recommending that conservation be practiced in even the most intimate of venues. Allow me to thus quote from her wisdom-filled pronunciamento:
I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.
[Emphasis mine.]

I must admit that the casual reader will greet this statement with skepticism, nay, even disbelief. But I believe Miss Crow is on to something. Please let Mr. Debonair assure you that a single square is sufficient unto almost all Abstergent Necessities, as explained in this post. [Simply substitute a lone square of Tee-Pee for the Cocktail Napkin, and you are All Set.] No matter what your diet, no matter the consistency of your Personal By-Product Materials (ahem), you need no longer contribute to the gradual deforestation of the planet, with the inevitable consequence of a long-term increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and its resultant unfortunate impact on Climate Change, by using excessive quantities of Bun-Wad.

In Singapore, it is a misdemeanor to use a public Rest-Room Facility without flushing afterward, a regulation that poses some interesting enforcement challenges. I therefore leave it as an exercise for the imaginations of my Esteemed Readers to concoct a method of enforcing the putative Sheryl Crow Bun-Wad Act.

Of course, there is a smally, cynical part of Mr. Debonair that wonders whether doing this whole Save The Planet tour by e-mail and internet forum might have resulted in a much smaller Carbon Footprint than driving a bus cross-country...but that wouldn’t have been as much fun, now, would it?

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Erica for alerting me to Miss Crow’s Stop Global Warming College Tour.]

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