Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Save the Economy - Bring Back the Shmoo?

Al Capp, the ingenious creator of the "Li'l Abner" comic strip solved our economic problems in the late 1940's with his introduction of the Shmoo. The Shmoo was a cute pear-shaped creature which would do anything to make people happy. (Click on the title of this post for more Shmoo info.) It would lay eggs and milk, turn itself into a sizzling steak, or serve as a toy for young children. In today's world, I'm sure a Shmoo would be more than happy to become a tankful of gasoline. Shmoos multiplied at an alarming rate, so there was never a lack of Schmoos waiting to please you in some way. Sounds great, doesn't it? The problem is that we get lazy when everything is done for us, and we lose our capability to solve problems on our own. When times are good, we are more than willing to coast and accept things the way they are. Only in hard times do we maximize our resources and turn them toward solving the problems we face. Sometimes we have to take the doom and gloom out of bad news in order to look at it as an opportunity to solve some problems. Progress comes out of adversity. Fifty years from now when we are driving around in our magnetically levitated fuel cell powered two-passenger vehicles with modular storage add-ons, we will appreciate the incentive that we gained from high-priced gasoline. In the meantime, drive less, carpool, and be a Shmoo to all of your friends. (And don't misspell the word to be ornery...)

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