Waste not, want not

Nothing like having a power bill triple on you in the space of a month to get a household thinking about conserving its use of the juice. Before rolling blackouts (and what a fine new name that is for a Native American chief) hit our town, I should pass along a few power conservation tips from a much-maligned demographic group who have honed expert efficiency in this area—bachelors.

See, families are always fudging on their conservation measures. They start out all well-meaning and everything, but as soon as one of the kids sneezes into his vegetable soup, forget it. They fire up the heater and jack that thermostat up to 78.

Bachelors, on the other hand, are specialists in biting the bullet and running a tight, efficient, reduced-energy ship. There’s nobody around to work on them with the long faces (spare me) and the chattering teeth (enough with the Dickensian melodrama already!), so bachelors can formulate a comprehensive energy-saving game plan, and then stick with it. Feel free to save big fistfuls of cash by employing some of the following energy-saving techniques that have been thunk up, tried out and perfected over the years by parsimonious single people.

1. Pull the plug on the damn hot tub. Hey, nobody said conservation was easy. This will hurt, especially for those of you swingers who thrive on the bubbling onion/bobbling tomato scene. But the tub is costing you anywhere from 25 to 40 bucks a month in energy. Either pull its plug, or charge the gang five bucks apiece to pile in for the next hot tub rub-a-dub.

For a cheapskate alternative, take a long, hot shower with sweetums. No, it’s not as gishy as the tub, but what the heck—you’ll be hot and wet.

2. Your washer and dryer are energy pigs. Do less laundry. How? Simple. You don’t even think about doing your wash until you strap on your last decent pair of undies. This has been the bachelor method for eons.

As for drying, try to do your laundry on days when the winter sun is shining. Then, take your wash, and lay it out, garment by garment, on the deck, patio or lawn, and let the sun have at it. Not only does the sun do a fairly quick job, it also adds kind of a natural stiffness to your clothes that approximates a medium starch effect. It’s pretty horrible, but very cheap.

3. Set the thermostat to 64. Come on, you can do it. It’s not that bad. Then, challenge your spouse/special friend to do jumping jacks for five minutes. It’ll be hilarious, and you’ll be sweatin’ and steamin'. If you’re still cold, don’t you dare put a move on that thermostat. Instead, have a wrestling match with him or her. Best two out of three falls, a fall being a full three-count pin of both shoulders. By the time you finish, you’ll think that 64 is murderously HOT.