How The Grinch Sold Green-ness

by Lee A. Hart

Every E down in Eville liked EVs a lot.
But the Grinch on the hill, he liked EVs... NOT!

The Grinch HATED EVs! No matter the season.
Don't ask me why; I don't know the reason.
Maybe because all his power and wealth
Was coming from cars that were bad for your health.
But I think the most likely reason of all
Could be from a conscience two sizes too small.

He stood on his hill, looking down with a frown
Knowing each smoggy light was the light of a town
Where everyone drove Grinch Gasamobiles
To go anywhere reachable on wheels.
For there weren't any buses; there weren't any rails.
There weren't any sidewalks or cycling trails.
So they drove to their jobs; they drove to the store.
They even drove to the neighbors next door.

All except Eville, which shone bright and far.
Its skies were as clear as the light of a star.
For you see, down in Eville, in 1913
The very first car leaked gasamoline
Which started a fire that burned up the car,
The barn it was in, the house, and a bar,
Then a school, and a church, and a factory burned down.
In fact, it burned down the town all around!

So they banned gasoline with a big proclamation.
And today, Eville is the last 'ville in the nation
That doesn't have even one gasoline station.
Oohville and Ahville have big fancy cars
And air so polluted they never see stars.
But in Eville they all have electric cars.

So the Grinch stood there growling, and hating the E's.
"How dare they ignore me, and do as they please!"
So he thinked and he thenked and he thought and he thunk.
He thought so hard that his thinker went "clunk".
And hatched an idea; a ghastly, grimacely, grinchly idea.
"While I can't steal Christmas (like last Christmas Eve),
I'll bet I can make them abandon EVs!"

He called his designers. "We've cars that don't sell.
Get busy and change them! How, I will tell.
Throw in a big starter, and more batteries,
And stick on 'em stickers that say "HEVs".
Then ship 'em to Eville, and quick if you please!"

Then he got on the phone to Senator Phooles.
Who heads the Committee for Autocar Rules.
"Those voices of Eville are trying to say
That cars would be great if we built 'em their way.
But EVs don't work; they sit on the shelf.
Meet me in Eville, and see for yourself!
Bring your reporters; a gaggle or two
And I'll show 'em something incredibly new!"

Then the Grinch threw some ladders and tools in his truck
And wore his old Santy Claus suit, just for luck.
He drove out to Eville, and crept into town
On Christmas eve evening, just after sundown.

The streets were deserted; the E's in their beds
While visions of batteries danced in their heads.
The air was refreshing, the snow was snow-white
And the stars above glowed with a crystalline light.
The first house he came to, all festive and gay
Was all decorated a Christmas-E way.

Did this fill the Grinch with a Christmas-E spirit?
No! He climbed up a pole as soon as he neared it
Where he broke every breaker, switched off every switch
And snipped every wire with his wire snipping snips.
Til there wasn't a single light left in the house
And the darkness was too dark for even a mouse.

Then he put on his snow-stilts, and marched up the streets,
Cutting wires from every pole he could reach,
Repeating his crime at the other E houses,
Leaving too little light for the other E mouses.
Switching and snipping, he worked through the night
And cut every wire where there was a light.

And nobod-E saw him; well, only one she.
Little Mary Lee E; who was no more than three.
She chanced to look out as the Grinch stilted by
And said, "Santa, you're cutting our wires! Why?"
Oh, that Grinch he was clever; that Grinch he was slick.
For he thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick.
He said, "There's a wire that's wobbled on top.
So I'm taking it North to fix in my shop.
Then I'll bring it back here, and replace it, chop-chop!"
Then he gave her a smile, and patted her head
Saying, "Don't catch a cold dear; now back into bed!"

Then he went back to work, and finished by three.
Til the town was in darkness, and he chortled with glee,
"Their EV's won't run without 'lectricity!"

Was the Grinch done? No! Not a chance, you can bet!
For his evil for Eville was even worse yet.
He rushed to a building he'd secretly leased
On the corner of Main, and Eco Street East
He arrived just in time to see that a truck
With his Grinchomobile HEVs had pulled up.
"Unload 'em!" he shouted, "We ain't got all day!"
"Seven more truckloads are still on the way."

He busied himself putting up a big sign.
"Grinch Eco-Mobiles" (his marketing line).
In front, he installed his "recharging station"
With a sign that said, "Fastest Charge in the Nation".
And a "charge-port connector" that looked, I suppose
Like a gasoline station fill-er-up hose.

I have to admit, that greedy old Grinch
Could really work hard and fast in a pinch.
He got it all up, and finished on time
And on Christmas morning, he opened at nine.
Senator Phooles, with his newsmonger crew
Cut the ribbon, and posed for a photo or two.

"They claim we are doomed", he pontificated,
"If auto pollution is not soon abated.
They say our beloved cars are the cause
And seek to pass ruinous emission laws.
But Grinch Motors funded a brand new selection."
(and also the Senator's coming election)
"We stand at death's door; what should we do?
Call on the Grinch; he'll pull us through!"

Then the Grinch said, "My friends..." with a crocodile grin.
"I have just the thing for the fix we are in.
My Grinch Eco-Mobile SUV car
Has ten times the range of an E-lectric car!
It uses my new improved Ecogas fuel
With no sugar, no salt, or cholesterule,
It's organic, wholistic, and all naturule!"
And though it was really just plain gasoline
For his final trick, he dyed his fuel green.

The press "ooh'd" and "ahh'd" from the dealership floor.
They'd never seen anything like it before.
These cars were so massive, so hugely luxurious
But the MPG claims were downright penurious.
Had the Grinch really done it? Could it be true?
Could they keep their big cars, and have cleaner air too?

The Grinch sighed and said, "I hate to be rude."
But the EV's the E's drive are dreadfully crude.
They haven't got heaters; the're icy EVs.
Not toasty and warm like my ICE V's!
And I hear that a freak winter storm in the night
Has left their cars dead, without power or light.
"So watch," bragged the Grinch, "How they flock in the door."

And he waited...

And waited...

An hour or more.

 

So he looked out the window, and what did he see?
Electric cars, driving by silently!
"Something is wrong," thought the Grinch with a glower
"How could they drive without 'lectrical power?"

Just then a customer drove on the lot
Announcing, "I'm here to see what you've got."
"For I am the Lorax, I speak for the E's.
So can you explain your cars, if you please."

He was fuzzily short; an odd little fellow
With eyes rather green, and his moustache was yellow.
But the Grinch didn't care if they're short or look funny.
All that's important is that they have money.
So the old Grinch adopted his oiliest smile
Saying, "Won't you come in; look around for a while."

Said the Grinch, "HEVs save on gas, don't you know.
Their engine shuts off when they stop or go slow.
And pollution and noise are lowest, you see
When the car is moving electrically."
"I see," said the Lorax, "the source of the perks."
"The more it's electric, the better it works!"

"No!" said the Grinch with a trace of a glower.
"You cannot drive on just 'lectrical power!
The gas engine's needed; it's outright required.
We never would sell a car that's just wired.
It's un-natural, un-normal, it's... un-what-we-do!"
(He almost said "unprofitable", too).

And so, an argument quickly ensued.
The Lorax polite; the Grinch rather rude.

"My HEVs never plug in, not a bit..."
"So they have to burn gas for every trip."
"But gasoline is a cheaper solution..."
"If you don't count all the wars and pollution."
"EVs just move their pollution around..."
"Our power's from hydro and wind in this town."
"Batteries are costly, and they never last."
"Amortized over life, they're cheaper than gas."
"EVs are slow, just like an old lady."
"GM's EV1 can zoom past you at 80."
"They haven't the range, they'll die on the way."
"They go twice as far as I drive in a day."
"Outlets are deadly, you'll be 'lectrocuted!"
"So you think a gas pump is safer, more suited?"
"Last year, we offered to sell some EVs..."
"No you didn't; you LEASED them to celebrities."
"There was no demand for EVs, do you hear!"
"Then why was the waiting list over a year?"
"If a storm cuts your power, like it did last night
You'll be stuck in the dark to wail."
"Then our EVs will power our heat and light
And can still drive that 'storm' to jail."

At that, the old Grinch began to get mad.
He flustered and blustered, "Now looky here, dad!"
Building big gassers is all that we know,
And we're figuring on biggering, 'cause that's how we grow.
We're going to keep following our master plan
To get bigger and BIGGER, as long as we can!
We don't give a toot for your sissy car voices
Cause' you HAFTA buy OUR cars; there's no other choices!"

The Lorax said sadly, "There's someone I knew.
We called him the Once-ler; he was once like you.
Once he was mighty; once he was great.
But he wouldn't change, til it was too late.
Like those selling slide rules, or watches with gears
Technology changed, and their wealth disappears!

Our EVs are crude, I admit that it's true
But we built them ourselves; what else could we do?
You took a first step with your big HEVs.
We'd like you to do a bit more, if you please.
If a little electric can make a car better
Then won't a bit more make it still better yetter?

How long can you keep selling gasoline cars
With oil so scarce that we have to fight wars?
Great HEV cars are coming to light
Like Toyota Prius, and Honda Insight
And the Sparrow, and Gizmo, and Think EV too.
Competitors do it; so why can't you?
You cannot stop progress; time never sits still
If you don't do it, then someone else will.

The Grinch started forming an angry retort
But then thought of something that brought him up short.
A customer's telling me what he will buy.
Like a fool, I don't listen; I'm arguing! Why?

They go to such trouble to build their own cars.
If we did it for them, they'd surely buy ours.
The government fines, putting us in the red,
Would turn into grants and incentives instead.
My marketing morons spend fortunes as well
Telling people to buy what we want to sell.
But if we had cars people wanted to buy
The ads would be cheap; off lots they will fly!
I'm tired of lobbying in government foyers
Besides, engineers are cheaper than lawyers!

And so, then and there, in the length of a sneeze
The Grinch changed his mind about selling EVs.
The cameras were rolling, in his showroom that day
As the Grinch announced what no one thought he could say.

"We've a hundred EVs, built for a test
In a populous state, located out west.
They cost us a fortune (until we build more)
But we'll sell 'em to whoever walks in the door.
And after some work on our first HEVs
You'll be able to drive them on batteries.
When gas or electric can refuel a car
Then people can choose to drive cheap, or drive far.
Driving most of your trips electrically
Saves fuel and emissions dramatically.
Competition, to keep the fuel prices down,
Reduces demand, so there's more to go 'round.
Now these are big changes; and hard for me
But it's what we must do for the new century."

Then the Lorax stepped up, and put out his hand
Saying, "Congratulations for taking a stand.
And to show that I'm with you on this all the way
I'm ordering one of your cars today."

And so, as the Christmas bells did ring
The newscasts showed an incredible thing.
The Grinch and the Lorax, hand in hand,
Saying EVs will be offered all across the land.
But now, you have to do your part, too.
The Grinch could change, but can you?
What will you buy?
Can you change, too?