Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tennessee Motor Oil Survey

My, this lady at a particular state university is persistent! The Appalachian Irishman finally responded to her Tennessee Motor Oil Survey, after receiving the second letter. Might as well have some fun filling out the thing.

I’ll share some of her questions and my answers, along with my other comments. Yes, she made the mistake of allowing freelancing from my glib tongue!

To begin, the eight-page survey asks mundane questions about the number of oil burning, gas guzzling, smoke belching, evil combustible engine vehicles and equipment one uses. It asks if you change your own oil, and if so, what you do with it. Then, several questions address oil collection centers. Other questions regard the use of recycled oil, which the survey wants to call re-refined. Finally, the survey snuggles up personally, asking about leisure activities, education, employment, dwelling location, gender, age, ethnicity, and income range. The survey, of course, promises complete confidentiality, despite pegging you with a unique number.

One question asks what I do with the old oil after changing it in my mowers. Of the ten options, I chose “other,” stating that I pour the oil on a big rock in the yard for the sun to evaporate. I bet that’s a unique answer! Although a collection center is less than five miles from the house, the big rock does just fine. (I wonder when the Big Brother sky-spy cam will catch me and send an eco-enforcement officer to demand that I take the oil to the center, blowing up my rock in the process!)

Another question asked if I would use their so-called refined oil for an oil change. No thanks, I replied. Can’t trust the quality. When will we be forced to reuse “refined” household waste?

The most entertaining question concerned what my neighbors do with their used oil. Of the 12 options, I again selected “other,” stating slyly, “Big Brother should not spy on his neighbor’s preference on disposal of used motor oil.”

I could not resist the opportunity, on the race or ethnicity question, to write in, beside White, “Irish American.” Why not? African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian were other options.

And now, dear reader, let’s move on to my other comments. I wrote:

I have responded to your survey finally, after receiving your second letter. I just don’t want you to show up at my doorstep next, with clipboard in hand.

Why did you send the survey in English and Spanish? We are not yet at least a bilingual country officially. I went to Russia and learned Russian. Those who come here by legal or illegal means should learn English. Eta pravilna?

I replied to the survey, despite my misgivings regarding its hidden agenda. I suspect that your survey will be used to promote legislation requiring used oil to be recycled, disallowing the option to use fresh oil, and to create intrusive regulations on personal disposal of used oil – all for ecological purposes.

I am a conservationist, not an environmentalist. We should care for the environment, but we must not worship the creation over the Creator.

Just don’t track me down and take away my big rock!

Are my comments on oil slick, or what? What say you?

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