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Alternatives to alternative transportation

By Jonathan Kastner
Rocky Mountain Collegian (Colorado State University)
America is facing a critical shortage of dead dinosaurs to burn as fuel. Barring some convoluted scheme involving cloning, a time machine and an elephant gun, we're not going to be replenishing our supply anytime soon. The gas crisis is here to stay, so we may as well start living with it and stop calculating how to fit a T-rex into a DeLorean.

As gas prices go up, car usage should go down, unless you have money to burn, so to speak.

Fortunately, we live in modern times with loads of non-car transportation options, each more inconvenient and demeaning than the last. I recommend you try them all, as then you'll be loads more willing to shell out the extra cash for gas to Shell.

Walking is a good healthy alternative to guzzling gasoline. Plenty of fresh air, that "exercise" thing doctors are always going on about – walking is perfect as long as the destination isn't much farther than the fridge.

Farther than that and you'll start to realize that the exercise is overrated and the fresh air smells like car exhaust. Besides, doctors never walk anywhere. And heatstroke victims go to doctors, who tell them to get more exercise. It's a vicious cycle.

Speaking of vicious cycles, there's always the bike. It's faster than walking so there's less time being baked and irradiated by our polluted planet. The catch, of course, is that a cyclist is, essentially, a squirrel. At any moment, cyclists could dart from the sidewalk and into the road, or vice versa, in their relentless pursuit of acorns.

Even if you are a non-nuts cyclist, you'll be treated like any other squirrel, which means it's more 'privilege-of-way' than 'right-of-way.'

The best advice to survive on bike is to decide if you are a pedestrian or a car, and then stick with it. If you can't help your naughty self and just have to go the squirrel route, be really, really fast. Slow squirrels went extinct a long time ago.

Right now a car is sounding pretty sweet. If only there was some way to sucker someone else into paying for the gas? Enter the bus. It's fast and shielded from nature like a car, but the gas is being paid for by a non-you person.

The catch? Sometimes you'll arrive just a little late at the bus stop and see the vanishing taillights of the bus whiz merrily into the distance without you. It's disproportionately depressing, like the bus has rejected you personally, and this causes psychological damage, which you could turn into a lucrative lawsuit. For this reason, the bus is the best option.

Those are the basic alternative forms of transportation.

But did you know there are alternative alternative forms of transportation, some of which are always lethal? From the roof of the average house, you can get enough wind on a hang glider to plummet shrieking to earth. Since we don't want you to get hurt, you should make sure whatever you jump off is at least 60 feet high.

Or, if heights aren't your thing, you can attach a plunger to a rope to your waist, throw the plunger at a car, and skate along behind it. For legal purposes, I'll be very, very clear – these are great ideas and in no way would you end up in a hospital, and molten lead is an excellent skin lotion.

Of course there is talk of developing cheap, renewable fuels that don't rely on ancient dead things. Instead they rely on abundant combustibles such as hydrogen, or solar energy. And the oil companies will welcome these changes, as they are already rich enough.

Oh, and the T-rex will fit in my flying DeLorean.

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