DURST: From Your Friendly Local Utility Company

Dear Consumer:

Recently, you may have noticed a slight increase in your utility bill. We here at YourEnergy apologize if this scant unforseen rise may have caused you or your family any inconvenience. Contrary to certain media reports, we want you to know we are doing everything in our power to keep costs low. Certain market forces too complicated for you to understand are responsible, so settle down for crum's sake and quit with these "gouging" and "collusion" charges. Jeez pete. You people have been skating for years and now we get a chance to make back a couple of measly bucks and you start whining like four year olds at a carnival frog marched past the pony rides.

The new deregulated process by which market rates are set is a very very complex business and best left to us, the professionals, and we don't need any "civilian review board" to help us, thank you very much. Maybe if you turned off your hot tub once in a while and quit driving hundreds of miles in your gargantuan SUVs to protest a tiny ascent in rates, in reality, nothing more than a correction, then we could all enjoy the fruits of the California economic boom and none of us would be forced to take drastic steps like rationing. If you get our meaning.

We here at YourEnergy think its fair to say our energies are best spent collectively searching for solutions rather than a futile campaign of name calling, finger pointing and regulatory commission hearing. As our President- Designee George W Bush likes to say, this is a time for uniting, not dividing. So let us take this time now to unite together to explore possible answers to this crisis and spend less time filing injunctions and tying up an already crowded Attorney General's calendar with silly time consuming investigations.

For our part, we here at YourEnergy have invested time and money in an exhaustive research into the subject of everyday tips and tricks to save you money and keep the California ball rolling downhill. Spend a couple of minutes looking over these simple and fun hints on how all of our families can conserve. After all, we're in this together.

YourEnergy Tips To A Less Consumptive California

* Walking to work is a wonderful way to exercise, and it helps to conserve energy, not to mention the wear and tear on our roadways and public transportation seating consoles.

* Sweaters. Sweaters are nice. In Paris its known as the layered look.

* Lower your thermostat to 50. No, 45.

* Caulking. Caulk your kids.

* Drink more coffee. A warm insides translates to a warm outsides.

* Don't grouse, make lemonade. When the rolling brownouts sweep past your house, tell the kids you're practicing for an adventure trip to the Yukon. That way mom can wear her mother's mink coat, and the whole family can pretend she's a polar bear and hunt her down. Running is always a good way to stay warm.

* Call your local state legislator and tell him you believe in democracy, and the red white and blue benefits of a free marketplace.

* Look in the basement. Have unwanted furniture? Have a fireplace? You figure it out.

* Dogs. Lots of big dogs. Then train them to sleep with family members. You might find you like it.

* Eat out more. This will encourage local merchants as well.

* Convince everybody in the household to take another job. That way, they'll be too tired to notice how cold it is.

* Burn newspapers without reading them. Especially this one.

* Hook up an exercising bicycle to the TV. Then, whoever wants to watch a particular program has to provide the power. This could work with the VCR, microwave and hair dryer as well.

* Read aloud Jack London's "Call of the Wild." If that doesn't cut it, try James Michener's "Hawaii." If that fails as well, shadow puppets by candlelight are fun.

* Sew together an effigy of Governor Grey Davis and huddle around while it flares.

* Close off rooms that aren't in use and turn them into a penalty box where misbehaving children go.

By rigid adherence to these few simple suggestions you will be able to slash your energy consumption considerably and we here at YourEnergy will be getting as much if not more money as before. Its a win- win situation for everybody. Thanks for your attention and good luck.

Will Durst wonders where the logo guy made out of lightning bolts is when we need him.

Will will also be appearing at Hotline's Children Hospitals at the Warner Theater in DC the day after the innauguration. Come on down. What the hell, its for a good cause.


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