Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Get outta your car... and on to your ass

Wednesday, 22 September 2010 - We have evolved, from primate to homo sapien sapien over millions of years (more years than our brains have yet evolved to truly comprehend). During that time, we have gone from hairy to smooth (well, most of anyway... there are a few Italian and some South East Asian men that have not caught up). We have gone from quadripedal movement, to dragging our knuckles, to bipedalism (again, sorry, but there are a few men who have not yet caught up). We have moved on from tree nests to tree houses in the back yard. When you attempt to rationalise and understand the changes we have gone through even before recorded history, it's easy to see why there are so many who may not be capable of comprehending the possibility and turn to religious explanation. It is easier for the human brain - not yet fully evolved - to believe in a magical start. The time scales currently hypothesized are so immense that we do not have a human experience that can compare or give us a comparison point.

So we came up off our knuckles, for the most part, and began to walk upright. This freed our hands to carry spears and 9mm PX4 Beretta Storms. After that, civilization was just around the corner. But this also made walking our number one mode of transport... well until the invention of wheels and the Ford Motor Company. Now, we have carS in the driveway, and we walk about 3 blocks maximum before we reach for the keys. On any day but today we should feel a modicum of guilt for what is surely the human spirit. Today is International Car Free Day the perfect day to leave the car at home and take a walk, a bus, a cab, or a slow and deliberate stroll to your favourite watering hole.  Besides, with the new drinking and driving laws, this should be a no brainer.  Leave the car at home people.

In fact, not just because you might have a beverage of the adult variety, but because our asses are getting wider and wider. We stood upright to make it easier to get around. Yes, it made it easier to carry weaponry and wage war on the buffalo, but it also means we could commute without needing bandages for our knuckles. Yet still, the soccer moms and the wide loads use a car to travel 500 yards to gather the kids and Almond Joy.

For just one day, if we all took alternative transportation I bet we would find that there really is another way to get there. Take a bus to the dead body exhibit. Ride a bike to the pub. Walk - for dog's sake walk - to the corner store. It is good for the air, good for the environment, good for your ass, and good for the day - if only for a day.

There are parts of the world that still rely on other modes of transport - donkey, cart, horse and buggy, and the decorated and revered Elephant. Go ahead and board your pachyderm, for today is also Elephant Appreciation Day.  I wonder if Joseph Merrick ever rode on one?

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