Monday, September 14, 2015

Gentlemen, stop your engines!

Hi, truckers. We’re California and we love you guys and gals. We really do. After all, you bring us all the stuff we don’t make here. Like everything.

So please don’t get mad, but we have some new rules.

As the Golden State, we’re very creative, especially when it comes to air. After all we invented smog in Compton in 1956. It really put us on the map. California Smog was quite the rage for a while. But our patent application was denied, so everyone began copying us.

Just as the same sleek dress doesn’t flatter every woman, the smog that was charming in L.A. made New York look lumpy. So in the 1970s with all those eastern cities bulging in their smog dresses, the feds declared war on smog.

It was time for us, California, to come up with another even bigger idea. And as you well know, we did. It’s called Clean Air, and it was a big hit. Sure, we lost the minerals and entertaining skin coatings we used to get from our old air, but breathing was fun again. You truckers played an essential part in that coup for California.

We’re sorry you had to buy new trucks and pay so much for fuel and we appreciate your effort. But as we mentioned before, we have a new problem. Due to the prevailing westerlies, California inherits air from Asia.

For decades they brought faint hints of curry and teriyaki, nothing more. But when Red China introduced capitalism, that changed. Now we get the kind of industrial air we stopped producing in California when all the employers left. So we have to step up our game.

That’s where you come in.

The problem, as we see it, is your internal combustion engines. No matter how much we reduce your emissions, your engines still emit. So there’s only one answer. Beginning Oct. 1, you will be required to turn off your engines in California.

No, not when you get to your pickup or delivery site. At the border.

“But, but, but…,” you say, sounding much like a motorboat.

It’s really quite simple: You are going to need alternative power in California.

How about that APU? Why not hook it up to solar panels and link it to the drive shaft? How about a treadmill in that big stand-up sleeper? Our engineers say they’re doing tremendous things with great big rubber bands these days. The possibilities are endless, and we have great faith in the creativity of American invention.

Sure it’s a challenge. So is having an economy as large as India’s, but without nuclear weapons. People make fun of us and there’s nothing we can do about it. It isn’t easy being California.

And as for those rumors: Are we banning trucks in California?

Don’t be ridiculous! We love you guys!