1) Plant something. Hit the shit out of the ground with a shovel in one spot until it becomes soft. Then, snatch up some seeds in your hand and shove your hand into the goddamn wound you’ve opened. This is painful for the dumb, idiot planet. Better still, the slow growth of these parasitic seeds will gradually sap energy from the Earth, exacerbating the wound, causing still more pain. Awesome!
2) Pick up any litter you see. Litter is like clothing for the Earth. The Earth, modesty-minded prude that it is, likes to stay covered up. Old newspapers are shirts. Plastic bags are cravats. Crushed Miller High Life cans are codpieces. Picking up litter makes the planet naked, which is mortifying for the planet. It’s essentially the equivalent of getting pantsed in gym class, or pantsed at the Whole Foods cheese counter, or pantsed at a midyear salary review meeting. Now the dumb dorky idiot Earth is stuck standing front of everyone, looking like a dumb idiot naked dork, durr durr, in its weird graying tighty-whiteys. Now everyone knows what a dork the Earth is. Now everyone will laugh. The more litter you pick up, the more naked the earth is, the shame, the more laughter, so get cleaning!
3) Bike to work. Picture, if you will, the constant sensation of having four calloused, sausage-wide fingers slowly dragged along the ridge of your spine. This is sort of what it feels like when the sedans and minivans of the world drive over the surface of the Earth. This sounds unpleasant, but can be, I think, more unpleasant. Picture, now: an army of carpenter ants scurrying over a broad expanse of smooth, exposed skin, stopping and starting, wheeling freely o’er the hills and valleys of your back and arms, on the burial mound of your stomach, their tiny feet skittering across the helix of your ear, into the cavern of your mouth. Allow for a moment the writhing terror to envelop you, of countless forms scrambling across your being, and into your being, an army, totally at random. This is what the Earth feels when you bike to work. You should bike to work.
4) Conserve water. Flowing water is like the wet, running mucous of the Earth, and lucky for us, spring is peak allergy season. Unlucky for the Earth, though—HAH! Fuck you, Earth. Suffer. But seriously, fellow Americans–running your shower, your tap, your toilet, is the equivalent of offering a tissue to the planet so it may blow its nose and relieve pressure. This Earth Day, let’s give this hellscape a goddamn sinus infection. Let’s turn it into the one no one wants to sit next to on the bus, the sad wench sneezing into her scarf, watery boogers free-flowing down her face and down her chin, trying in vain to clean her wretched self up with the wet Starbucks napkin she found at the bottom of her purse as everyone unsubtly leans away, gagging.
5) Turn off the lights when you leave the room. The Earth cannot turn on lights because, duh, the Earth is an oblate spheroid with no arms. Turning off the lights means that the Earth will be unable to turn them back on again, and the Earth will be unable to see when it stumbles in after dark, and will trip on the umbrella you left in the vestibule, and will dash its shins trying to go up the stairs, and, if we’re lucky, hit its head on the banister and die there in the darkness, all alone.
6) Educate yourself and others about how to create a cleaner future. Do you remember the 1996 Fugees chart-topper, “Killing Me Softly (With His Song)?” Recall, American friends, Lauryn Hill’s plight in the second verse: “I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd / I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud / I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on…” and then we resume the chorus. Ms. Hill’s words reveal something universal: having your most private thoughts and feelings callously exposed to a group is its own kind of agony. Think about it: everyone on the planet knowing exactly how hurt the planet is, and knowing the issues the planet faces in painstaking, scientific detail, then scrutinizing the shit out of those in public forums, such as conferences and graduate programs and think tanks. It is so wonderful, I almost don’t want to jinx it by thinking of it. How much can we hurt the Earth by discussing its personal issues with as many people as possible? I postulate: a lot. How embarrassed will the planet be when it walks into a room or think tank and realizes that every person in that room not only knows about its baggage, but has actually opened its baggage, inspected its baggage, and strewn about all its unpacked pains and insecurities and issues and strewn them about the room? My guess is: extremely embarrassed. I’d guess the Earth would probably stammer silently, and maybe just burst out sobbing on the spot, right in front of all those scientists and UN people. Which would be hilarious, and then maybe the Earth will drop out of school and we’ll never have to see its ugly face again. Maybe it will give up orbit and just send itself careening into the sun.
Just something to look forward to on this terrible, stupid Earth Day.