Miss America, Capt. America, and saving the planet, one square at a time

Posted: Apr 27, 2007 12:01 AM
Miss America, Capt. America, and saving the planet, one square at a time

Dramatists often lighten an exceptionally tragic act with humor, sometimes referred to as "comic relief." Whether or not you believe in a Grand Dramatist, this week the news has been our own comic relief.

An inevitable aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre was media talking heads promoting gun control, a position not even adopted by the Democrat leadership. But this week, Miss America 1944 – Venus Ramey, who is now 82 years old – faced an intruder on her Kentucky property in her barn, where farm equipment had been stolen before. The Associated Press reported that Ramey, balancing on her walker, used her snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun to shoot out the tires of the would-be thieves' getaway vehicle and held them at bay till the cops showed up.

"I didn't even think twice. I just went and did it," Ramey told the AP. "If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be six feet under by now."

An inevitable aftermath of that story is not media talking heads saying that maybe there is something to that Second Amendment after all, if an 82-year-old woman on a walker is able to fend off thieves on her property.

More hilarious than Walker Woman, Kentucky Ranger, was that a member of the Holy Warming Church finally found a ritual that sounded ridiculous to fellow acolytes. What was it?

It wasn't banning incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs. That idea, adopted in Canada and Australia and on the legislative agendas in California and North Carolina, among others, doesn't seem to concern global warming disciples, even though no one can demonstrate how banning incandescent light bulbs would actually stop or ameliorate global warming. The fact that compact fluorescent light bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury, which environmentalists normally decry as deadly, doesn't bother them in the least.

Nor was it San Francisco's recent ban on plastic grocery bags. After years and years of environmental true believers demonstrating their fealty to Mother Gaia by answering "Plastic or paper?" with the proud declaration "Plastic!" – because producing paper bags requires tree corpses, emits more air pollution and waste than plastic bags, and uses more energy, too – now they shift answers because plastic bags are petroleum products. They make this shift as quickly and as unquestionably as Oceania switching from always being at war with Eastasia to always being at war with Eurasia. And they don't even seem to regret the "lost years."

No, it was a suggestion made by singer Sheryl Crow during her "Biodiesel Bus Tour," in which she and Laurie David are touring the Southeast, in David's words, "visiting college campuses to talk about the urgency of this [global warming] issue and how everyone . . . everyone . . . has to start doing something." The ellipses are David's.

"Do something" being the mantra ("whether therefore ye eat or drink, do all to stem the warming of Earth"), without regard to whether that something is actually effective – that's the same leap-before-you-look philosophy that had environmentalists favoring plastic grocery bags for so long. Here was how Crow applied it: "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."

That idea was so roundly hooted (and even Rosie O'Donnell scored points off it) that Crow backtracked, saying it was a joke, and everyone missed her other dotty suggestions of "dining sleeves" on clothes to avoid using paper napkins and an "American Idol"-esque show seeking the contestant with the "greenest lifestyle" to be awarded a recording contract.

The only thing this week that rivaled the silliness of Crow's foursquare one-square TP advocacy was the news out of Florida that a doctor, wearing a Captain America outfit and with a burrito stuffed down his tights, was arrested for allegedly groping women at a bar. (Next time you're having a bad day, think to yourself at least I'm not in police custody dressed as a comic-book superhero with Taco Bell cuisine in my nether regions.) The "Captain" was also caught trying to flush marijuana down the toilet.

Comparisons between this unfortunate fellow, one Dr. Raymond Adamcik, and former Clinton administration National Security Adviser Sandy Berger are inevitable but unfair. Granted, on one hand we have a guy caught with stuff crammed in his pants, and on the other we have Dr. Adamcik. But the differences are key.

Adamcik, after all, is a doc who crammed a burrito in his pants; the national security adviser is a Berger who crammed docs in his pants. Furthermore, Adamcik allegedly groped women and tried to flush the dope. Berger tried to "flush" documents for a dope who allegedly groped women.

It is, of course, important to stop these misunderstandings before they fester. And thank God for comic relief.