Dear Uptight Seattleite, I'm going to sell my Subaru and get a Prius. Could you please congratulate me?Shiny Happy Green Guy
Dear Green Guy, I actually just did the same thing! I bought a Prius with money from my Legacy, which I sold to a Somali family. I didn't have any problems with them whatsoever. Anyway, they paid with a money order, so I knew it was all good. Treating the interaction as totally routine was just my little way of bridging the gap between human cultures. But in your case, I'm afraid I have some bad news: You can't get that Prius. Because if you sell your current car and get another one, there will then be two cars where there had been only one. Far from shrinking your footprint, you'll be expanding it like a menacing shadow across the land. I myself didn't come to this realization until after I was already enjoying my Prius's surprisingly zippy handling and astonishing fuel efficiency, secure in the knowledge that my stodgy old Subaru had been honorably pressed into the service of a hardworking immigrant family. The point being, head coverings are so common in the city now that I don't even notice them. People are people, that's your radical truth for the day. Dear Uptight Seattleite, I'm about to have me a raw milk latte. Got a problem with that?Phooey Pasteur
Dear Phooey, Au contraire, my fellow criminal. I'm sitting two stools over from you at Café Name Withheld, a Sunday afternoon raw-milk speakeasy, to enjoy the creamy goodness that science and the government want to keep from us. You're one of the many new faces I've seen lately. It's great that more people are waking up to the health-giving properties of unpasteurized milk, no matter how belatedly. Or, as raw-milk booster Jennifer Adler (M.S., C.N.) put it in my new favorite magazine, Conscious Choice, "Welcome to the largest underground food revolution." All of which makes it painful to leave the plateau where this happy little revolution is taking place, but I must seek higher ground still. Because even unpasteurized milk is still produced for calves, and drinking it therefore raises certain troubling associations between cows and mothers. This may be perfectly OK for you, and I hope it is, but I myself need an upgrade in the animal-mother department. That's why I'm headed to a little boutique farm on Bainbridge for my monthly allotment of raw alpaca milk. Alpacas are far more alert and lithe than cows, bringing a lighter spirit to the maternal presence in our food lives. And their milk has never before been consumed by humans, so the unfamiliar jolt of their DNA in ours delivers great vigor of body and mind. In fact, I'm pretty much about to lose my mind from all the manly vigor I've got bottled up right now. And I'm available this Saturday. Just throwing that out there. Dear Uptight Seattleite, Squirrels are stupid and creepy. They steal from my bird feeder and bite the heads off my tulips. Then they squat on branches with their scrotums bulging out between their haunches, turning nuts around and around in their nasty little claws and looking down at me like I'm the asshole. May I please shoot them with an air pistol?The Squirreliminator
Dear Squirreliminator, Have you seen that movie where Jimmy Cagney staggers out of a shoot-out with the police and, collapsing to the pavement, says, "I ain't so tough"? I believe that you, too, ain't so tough, Mr. Squirreliminator. Not that I think you're weak. No, I mean your true self—the self you were meant to be—isn't a hard-hearted gunslinger given to stare-downs with squirrels. It's time to point the toes of your boots out of that particular saloon, partner. You'll be happier when you remember that animals aren't villains, they're fellow sentient beings who want only to share the planet with us in peace. If you find their presence really is infringing on your sense of well-being, there are plenty of relocation options, such as the Critter Catch 'n' Schlepper. (Go to the organicgardening.org discussion board to read my defense of the relocation approach against some well-intentioned but profoundly misguided souls who think it's analogous to pushing the homeless from one neighborhood to another.) You should also remember what happens to any movie character who stays in the tough-guy business too long. Those damn squirrels always get you in the end. Have a question for the Uptight Seattleite? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.