Government Throws Commuters A Lifeline
by Henrietta Wang
Henrietta Wang's abortive attempt to get arrested on Tiananmen and then write a story about it wasn't a total waste of time. She did meet Mr He, fresh from the National "People's" Congress. She patched together the following story out of his ramblings and some research she carried out later that night on the internet:
A Beijing commuter reported having "been on this road before" earlier this month, amid growing government concerns that literally thousands, perhaps millions of China's city residents are needlessly wasting energy each working day by travelling to and from their places of work.
"It's just stupid us trying to promote much needed energy saving guidelines/laws such as air-con usage rules when so many people are wasting so much energy as part of their working day routines!" said a representative one-man sample of the population.
To counter this problem, the NPC has just introduced legislation (The Anti-waste Ordinance 2006) which will eventually force all employees to live at their place of work. "There is no need for alarm," explained government spokesman Old He, "as the rules will be gradually introduced to allow people time to adjust - they won't become effective for a week or so."
Old He went on to warn that living within walking distance of your workplace will not excuse you from having to move into the office, as new government tests related to the Shenzhou space missions have revealed that "humans use energy when they walk too".
"I for one would do anything to help the great nation of China to succeed," swelled underpaid graduate Tai Shagua. "...China's great!"