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Your Local News Channel

July 05, 2011 By: Peter Smith Category: Advocacy

I was walking down The Alameda (wiki) the other day when I was accosted by a local news reporter trying to do a story about gas prices and the upcoming July 4 holiday — it was right in front of that ugly Shell gas station.

He put the camera in my face — like, 12 inches away, it seemed — and said something about ‘gas prices’ and ‘The Grand Canyon’ and then he started pointing at the gas prices sign — which looked a bit like the picture shown.

My first thought, and what I actually said to him, was, “We need to make this street bikeable — we need to make it safe and comfortable for people to bike on — we need to allow people to bike on this street.” (It’s an awesome street — or, has the potential to be.)

Reporter-guy-with-camera was amused, gave a smirky-smile and guffaw, and then presumably mumbled the same leading question he did before — this time gesturing more wildly towards the gas prices sign — and again, I had no idea what he said. I turned around to get a good look at the sign, and most prices seemed to be right around the $4/gallon mark, so of course my first thought was, “Wow — one gallon of gas could buy me a Pliny the Elder at Wine Affairs.” In other words, I was not thinking, “Wow — gas is cheap now.” I was thinking, “Why would you spend your $4 on a gallon of gas instead of a pint of really good beer??”

So I said, “Well I’m more of a train guy so I don’t tend to do a lot of driving — the train is awesome.”

Now he was really getting frustrated. At this point I started to figure out what he was getting at — I think he was suggesting that gas prices were down and so therefore wouldn’t that make me more likely to drive to The Grand Canyon this 4th of July holiday weekend?

After he mumbled his leading question one more time, I said, “Yes, more likely.” And then I smiled and split, and he was happy to be rid of me, I’m sure.

I was amused by the whole thing. Imagine you’re a local video reporter and you’re sent out to get some footage for a 4th of July-type driving and gas prices story and you just happen to try to interview someone who thinks that cars are humanity’s best example of pure-evil-on-earth. It’s tough being a local news reporter! :-D

3 Comments to “Your Local News Channel”


  1. If he didn’t want the truth he shouldn’t be a cameraman :)

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  2. Kassandera says:

    Great story, I love how cleverly you depict this guy. As if he were some sub-human species who you had to guess what he was trying to communicate with you. Absolutely hilarious example of miscommunication!

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  3. Peter Smith says:

    Sub-human? wow. i thought it was pretty simple - i couldn’t understand what he was saying, in part because he was behind this big thing that looked like a bazooka, and probably also because i was still waking up, and then i have my obvious anti-car disposition. don’t think i really demonized anyone.

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