Presenting a leaner, greener column

Several readers have pointed out that last week's column was lamer than usual. I accept the criticism but insist that my poor performance was due to man-made global warming.

I mean, that's not so hard to believe, is it? As far as I can tell, man-made global warming is responsible for virtually all of humanity's ills: record hot weather, record snow storms, too many hurricanes, too few hurricanes, melting of the polar ice caps, flooding, drought, tsunamis, Britney Spears' new CD.

If it's bad, the culprit must be global warming. Or maybe Michael Vick.

Personally, I find it hard to get worked up over a few shrinking glaciers and some dead polar bears, unless of course they're the bears in the Coca-Cola commercials. But when global warming starts affecting my writing - well, then it's time to do something.

Accordingly, I plan to take certain steps, effective immediately, to make this column more eco-friendly - "greener," if you will. For example, as of this moment, I will start doing my part to cut back on dangerous greenhouse-gas emissions. Yes, that's right: no more late-night bean burritos.

Also, from now on, I will be typing this column on a recycled computer monitor using an actual live mouse, rather than a prefabricated plastic device.

As you know, making plastic requires petroleum and produces hydroflurocarbons. No, I don't know what a hydroflurocarbon is, either, but judging from all those syllables, it must be something really, really bad.

Another step I'm going to take in order to reduce my "carbon footprint" is to use less fuel for each column. That means from now on my pre-writing nutrition intake will consist of a regular cheeseburger and small fries instead of the usual double-Quarterpounder extra-value meal.

I'm also going to encourage my legions of readers to recycle their copies of this fine family newspaper - preferably after they've read my column and not before. From my point of view, it's much better to be recycled than to be face-down on the garage floor awaiting Fifi's ministrations.

Finally, I'm going to stop angering readers by making jokes about their favorite sports teams. It's a little-known fact that when people get "hot under the collar," their body temperature actually rises. This, like drinking from Styrofoam cups and using a leaf blower, clearly contributes to global warming.

For instance, a recent climate study conducted by NASA (National Asinine Statistics Administration) noted that, after I once made a passing reference in this column to the University of Florida's football team, the average temperature in that state rose by 5 degrees over the next three weeks. The fact that it was June at the time was determined to be irrelevant.

Please note, however, that my self-imposed moratorium on sports jokes does not apply to the Atlanta Falcons. They don't have enough fans left to kill off a single polar bear.