Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Leaf in the Parking Lot

"And God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light, but the Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected." - Spike Milligan

A parade of "ohhh" and "ehhhh" shattered the office stillness like pebbles pouncing on a pond. Curious, I looked around, but none of my fellow teachers were behind their desks. They were staring at the parking lot. Welcome to another episode of "Why is everyone looking out the window."

"Teacher's Eye View"
What's everyone looking at?
In 2006, "Who Killed the Electric Car?," a documentary/obituary on California's electric cars premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Here in Japan, I think a sequel is in order. "Who Revived the Electric Car?" Well the answer lies in certain math teacher at 青森高校 / Aomori High School. For in the parking lot rests his newest purchase: a leaf. But this 'leaf' didn't fall from a tree. It came from engineers at Nissan. The Nissan Leaf is the newest bad boy on the road of 'eco-friendly' driving. When I heard that "Mr. Green," had purchased an electric car, I immediately pictured a 2 person micro-sized golf-cart. The kind of vehicle you would see janitors driving in Disney's Tomorrowland. I was shocked to find that this 100% electric car was the sexiest thing in the lot. It's moderately priced, seats five, and with some blue highlights has a hint of the future without looking like something only sci-fi nerds would drive.
Nissan Leaf
The most popular car at school.
I'm not about to advocate everyone rush out and purchase an electric car. At the same token, I urge all of you who are already guarding your brainwashed theories and looking to find fault with an electric powered car, to open your mind. Sure an electric car may not be the perfect transport for long trips, for rural areas, or cities with expensive electric bills. But at least for one man on a modest teacher's salary in the Japanese country-side, change is not only good, but it's fun.

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