Home > Uncategorized > You May Say I’m a Dreamer…

You May Say I’m a Dreamer…

Imagine if you will, that you wake up tomorrow, and every car in the world has disappeared.  Yours included. Nothing else has changed, you still have to go about your day, your boss expects you to be on time. It happens to be a Monday. Murphy’s Law.

After an initial panic, seeing that everyone else’s car is gone too, you settle down, reassured by your misery’s company. Then, depending on where you live, you’ll walk, cycle or take the train/bus to work that moring.  You’ll probably be late – the buses (oh ya, they haven’t gone anywhere; I guess they were big enough to defend themselves against the catastrophe that zapped all the cars) of course won’t be able to handle the extra load of people and several full ones will pass you by. Vancouver Olympics being case and point. When you finally do catch one, at least it gets there fast. No traffic.

So it’ll be a frustrating day, no doubt. Especially if you have kids, need groceries, or enjoy venting your anger through a car horn. So what happens on day 2? The cars haven’t returned. You have to go through it all again. But this time, you plan a little better. It doesn’t matter much though. By day three, if you live in the city, you’re starting to adapt. Buses are still full, so you ride your bike, kids in tow (hopefully you already have a bike, because the stores are sold out). It’s a hassle, but at least it safe on the roads; no cars to jockey with. You’re forced to buy your groceries locally, so you pay a bit more, but mom and pop seem to appreciate the business. Except they keep running out of milk.  They step up their orders (delivery trucks survived too, for now) and expand, taking over the auto shop next door.

Lord help you if you live in the suburbs. You’re essentially trapped. So you start bitching about it to anyone and everyone who will listen. You’re not the only suburbanite, so you’re voice doesn’t stand alone. Millions of people across the nation chime in. People listen. Your government – they need the votes; entrepreneurs – they’re always listening.  All of these attentive folks see a very large persuasive group of people with a major problem and a newfound $8500/year in their pockets (the average yearly cost of owning and running a car).  For that chunk of change, one way or another, they’re gonna get you where you need to go.

Major infrastructure projects spring up, the Chinese are brought in to show us how build a rail line in 24 hours. But even they can only build so fast. Suburbanites rush for the cities, trading in mansions for cramped downtown apartments. The housing crisis escalates. Transit projects turn to housing projects – the cities densify and spread.  Craiglist is awash with used furniture.

A few months in, we realize the cars aren’t coming back. Neither is our knowledge of how to make cars.  You’d think we’d figure it out from looking at the buses, but somehow we just can’t. Plus, the buses are starting to disappear too; with such high volume in a dense area, train becomes the only practical way to move the masses. We keep laying track.

The climate crisis ends. Our guilt melts away. I’m out of a career, open up a bowling alley. One of the glow in the dark ones; we serve alcohol and appeal to the ‘trendy bowler’ crowd. You should stop by – lots of bike parking and discounted lanes for members.

Lots more happens; but not in this post. To be continued…

  1. Vitaly
    April 10, 2010 at 3:06 am

    This is very, very good. (And I’m often called a tough critic)

  2. daph
    April 12, 2010 at 9:13 am

    love your writing dude! Sounds like you have described Japan! STRIKE!

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