Burning desire

So what if our kids’ lungs suffer? It’s all about romance

Ms. Brannen is a fourth-generation Chicoan and proud mother of a member of the fifth generation.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m down on my knees giving thanks that crazy Chicoans like Jane Dolan and Maureen Kirk didn’t succeed in convincing the Butte County Air Quality Management District to ban particularly polluting kinds of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces on bad-air-quality days.

Don’t they know we’re proud of exceeding the federal limit for “small particulate” pollution? Don’t they know we love our “death statistics”! How dare Scott Gruendl threaten our freedom to cause lung problems in newborns and skyrocketing rates of asthma in children. As one local resident said, “We’re just getting too much government restrictions.”

I totally see the point another guy made when he said that his family gathers around the fire every night to come together, and if that fire was banned on really hazy days, or worse, if he had to switch to a nonpolluting stove, his family’s unity would be shattered, it’d “all be gone.” I’ll bet that family barely survives summers as it is!

One man argued against the ban because he likes to “have a romantic evening with [his] wife.” I totally understand. Just this weekend I shared a romantic evening in front of a fire with my special someone, and I can tell you, I definitely didn’t enjoy any other part of our two-day vacation to Mendocino. I hate the clean, salty smell of the ocean, and the cool sea breeze! Holding hands and walking on the beach is so not romantic! I am absolutely sure we wouldn’t even be attracted to each other if it weren’t for Duraflame.

Also, there simply is no alternative. Why should our elected officials get to tell us we need to replace our polluting old stoves with new pellet stoves or those lame gas inserts? I mean, let’s face it: The flames from those things just aren’t as pretty! And they’re definitely not romantic or conducive to family unity.

So, listen here, crazy environmentalists: We’re not stupid. We know our rights around here, and no one is going to tell us not to destroy ourselves! Our right to burn stuff is way more important than our lungs! If we want to kill our children in order to have a little romance, we should be able to. Perhaps you’d best mosey on outta here. Go look for some spotted owls in Oregon or something ’cause we don’t like people like you in these here parts.

Anyone got a match?