Lights Out!

Welcome to The Shield‘s annual satire section.  Writers use satire to improve a problem in society. Sometimes readers misunderstand the satire as they do not recognize the hyperbole, irony, rhetorical questions, sarcasm, and understatements. Readers may mistake the satirical solution for the actual solution that the writer proposes. The ideas in these satire stories do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Shield or Westmont. If one is confused about satire, please contact a friendly neighborhood English teacher.

By Rachel Walker

Dear Governor Gavin Newsom, 

With the constant power outages caused by the numerous storms Califonia has had, Californians are ex-static that you initiated an executive order to require all new vehicles to be electric by 2035. However, I am concerned on behalf of myself and all other California residents. I work very hard 24/7 to ensure all residents and companies have power, but I am overworked. And now you want to add electric vehicles on top of my already full plate. Not anymore. Change needs to happen IMMEDIATELY!! Until then, I will be going on strike.  

Sure, I am proud to be one of the most advanced grids in the U.S., but I can’t do it anymore. I’m all out of gas. Electric vehicles add more pressure and an undue burden on me. When signing this order, no one consulted me or asked if I was okay. News flash, I am not. I can’t make it through the hot days or the cold nights and storms constantly send me out of whack. No matter watt I have tried to remain positive, waiting for someone to recharge my spirits, but no. Instead of checking on me, everyone blames me, as if the reason people don’t get power is my fault. And you Mr.Newsome, you have pushed me over the edge. Have you ever thanked me for continuing to supply electricity to the entire state of California? No, no you have not. So I will no longer be taking the heat for your mistakes. 

There are plausible ways to fix this problem, but no it all has to fall on me. Instead of producing alternate batteries that use less of my current, you decided to use batteries that conflict with my current even more. Not to mention, with the goal to be eco-friendly, the EV batteries supply more pollution than the current cars. Add it to the list of all of MY responsibilities since you can’t own up and take the blame yourself. Mr. Newsome, I would be shocked if you ever owned up to your mistakes instead of deflecting the issue back on me.  

I think my strike will serve as a needed self-reflection time for you and all California residents. Yes, schools will shut down, power will be lost, and companies will be forced to completely shut down without the internet, but I see it as a learning experience and historical adventure. For the first time since the 1700s, residents will live without any electricity. I know everyone has at least one candle in their home. Most have thousands that they bought from Target and Yankee Candles that have never been lit, giving Californians an excellent opportunity to purge through the large selection. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone also has a large supply of batteries. With my strike, you’ll be forced to put batteries in the flashlight people hardly ever use. If anything, I am helping you spring clean early.  Furthermore, children and adults will be forced to play outside, read books, play board games, and spend quality time with their friends and family. Everyone, especially you Mr.Newsome, gets caught up in the daily life of work and stress, leaving very little alone time for you and your wife. Because of my strike you can rekindle the spark between you two, regenerating the electricity you once had because, let’s be honest, four kids is not enough. Plus, to have a stable economy, you need people and without daily life distracting Californians (and all the romantic candle-lit nights that are destined to happen) a second wave of baby boomers will occur.  As far as I am concerned, I should receive a thank you for all the relationships that will be healed and the new rise in the economy that will occur from my strike. 

I will re-think my strike if you come up with a new solution, which I am sure you are de-lighted to hear. I know that the storms and heat are out of your control, I do understand that, but the powered cars are not. I think your idea is bright, and I applaud your creativity. Next time I would appreciate it if your executive orders weren’t at the cost of my happiness and well-being. 


CPG (California Power Grid)