Editor’s Notebook: Domestic Fuels

May 2010 Vol. 237 No. 5


Is it possible that natural gas – that cleanest-burning of all fossil fuels – might actually come between Mr. and Mrs. Share?

Let me take you back a few weeks to a rather provocative discussion that Janet and I had one evening. We were getting ready to watch sports entertainment formerly known as professional wrestling when our attention was diverted to the Game Show Network. Family Feud, probably the best game show ever, had just finished. Before I could gather the energy to click the remote, the new Newlywed Game was starting. So we watched, in jaw-dropping awe, as the very lovely Carney Wilson came out and hosted what might be the worst game show ever.

Now this isn’t the campy version hosted by that slick-haired legend Bob Eubanks in the 1960s. This version features the amply built Ms. Wilson on the days she isn’t trying to starve or staple herself into submission.

The show features three ordinary couples who are asked several questions you would never think to discuss in public or private. Those who score the most points by matching their partner win the grand prize, a trip to Hawaii, Cabo or one of the Virgin Islands. What grabbed my attention was the runner-up prize, a snappy Cuisinart food processor that would blend in nicely with our new Cuisinart toaster and microwave oven.

Several thoughts came to mind as we watched this show: the questions don’t seem very hard; they probably aren’t being flooded with applicants; and then to have the chance to meet Carney, share some nutrition tips, and most likely walk away with that Cuisinart food processor.

I was game to be on the game. At the end of the show, they provide an address to write to if you want to get to be a contestant and bare some of the most private details of your personal life. I figured that we stood a real good chance of being selected because we would probably be the oldest couple they ever had on the show as well as being quite witty. I could just picture Carney cooing that “you guys are beyond adorable.”

So naturally without warning Janet, I composed a letter the next day detailing our many qualifications.

A few days later they wrote back to me and offered us a try out, providing we pay our own way to Hollywood. The caveat was that if selected – which I knew would be a snap – we could be on the very next day. So what if it would cost us a few bucks? You can’t buy that kind of exposure – which, in this case, might not be the right word.

I was literally bursting with excitement when Janet came home from work. Janet is very friendly sort, but prefers to stay out of the limelight unless plied with a glass of red wine. I insisted that we watch the show so we could practice just in case we did make the trip. Problem was we picked the wrong night. This is where the natural gas came in.

Carney asked, “Name something that your wife does a lot of that you didn’t know before you got married.”

Surprisingly, two of the men answered that their wives seemed to produce an abundance of human gas (which contributing editor Carol Freedenthal tells me is composed of 95% methane). I don’t remember if either wife matched the answer, but that’s when Janet said she’d seen enough.

The conversation went something like this:

Her: We’re not going on that show.

Me: What’s the big deal? There is nothing wrong with natural gas. It is an environmentally favored fuel. I doubt they would ask us that same question. And besides, think about what I do (professionally). Can’t you see that it’s our destiny to go on that show? Plus I want that food processor.

Her: So I’ll buy you one. We’re not going on that show.

Me: Heavy sigh.

No means no when Janet makes up her mind. The good news is I’m waiting for her to buy us that food processor. After all, a deal is a deal….