To sink a car

September 02, 1994|By Art Buchwald

Martha's Vineyard -- WHAT HAPPENS on Martha's Vineyard should not usually be anybody's business -- except that Princess Di was here and President Clinton is here now, and therefore everyone must be informed of what our problems are.

The biggest complaint on the island this year is that, because of tTC the president, the number of automobiles coming over from the mainland has quadrupled. Scientists from Woods Hole report Martha's Vineyard is sinking into the sea from the weight of all the cars.

Our group was discussing the problem on South Beach the other day, and there were solutions galore.

Frankfurter had one of the better ideas. "What we should do," he said, "is buy a German World War II submarine and station it off West Chop. When a ferry boat loaded with cars comes into sight, we fire a shell over its bow. If it refuses to turn back to Woods Hole, we sink it."

No one objected to the idea, though Renquist pointed out it wasn't that easy to find a good German submarine crew from World War II anymore, and even if you could the average age would be 85.

Klosterman made a suggestion. "Suppose we build a six-lane highway from Vineyard Haven to Gay Head. People would drive off the ferry and then onto the highway. There would be no signs at Gay Head warning that the highway had ended, and everyone's automobile would go flying into the sea."

"Where do we get the money for the highway?" someone asked.

"We take it out of President Clinton's health bill," Sampson said.

"I think the health plan should be used differently," objected Esther Bonappetit. "Suppose we offered people a choice of complete health insurance or a one-month parking place at the A&P. I'm sure more than 50 percent would go for the parking place."

I didn't want to be left out. "This is what I think. Ferry people should inform all standby passengers that they will be guaranteed a seat on the next boat from Woods Hole, but not tell them that instead of Oak Bluffs they would be taken to Guantanamo Bay."

"As long as you warn them," Freedman, a lawyer, added, "there is nothing wrong with it."

"Suppose," said Arpel, "we opened the wrong end of the ferry when it docked, and instead of the cars driving on to land they went splash into the sound?"

Victor volunteered, "Our problem cannot be solved by us. It must be resolved by President Clinton, since all of his White House cars are clogging up the island. Mr. Clinton must declare the island a disaster area and call out the 101st Airborne to keep people from using automatic weapons on each other while caught in a traffic jam at Five Corners."

Everyone in the group believed something had to be done to restore the island to its former beauty. The only disagreement was what Wireheimer said: "I think the rule of thumb is our cars should be the last ones permitted on the island. After that, it's every Honda for herself."

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

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