Jewish World Review Feb. 18, 2004 / 26 Shevat, 5764

David Grimes

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Consumer Reports

California needs its chi adjusted | Perhaps as a means of taking people's minds off the state's $14 billion deficit and the fact that nobody has a job, a California lawmaker has introduced a resolution urging architects to design buildings with a more positive energy flow.

San Francisco Democrat Leland Yee, assistant speaker pro tempore of the California State Assembly, is of the opinion that far too many buildings in the state are woefully out of touch with their feng shui, which, loosely translated, means "goofy, New-Age-y Oriental interior decorating scam that we sincerely hoped we had heard the last of 10 years ago."

Actually, feng shui is the art of creating living spaces that are in harmony with the environment and promote happiness, health and prosperity. A properly arranged feng shui home or office promotes the flow of "chi," or positive energy, to the point that you can barely open a door without being carried away in a torrent of the stuff.

I must admit that I originally thought that California's many problems were due to a bad economy and incompetent leadership, but I now realize that most of the state's woes are due to chairs facing the wrong direction and insufficient use of mirrors.

I hadn't thought of it before, but it's quite possible that the negative energy flow that occasionally finds its way into this column is the result of poor feng shui in my home office, where much of this drivel originates. At this moment, as I stare out my smudged window, a sandhill crane is pecking at the rear-view mirror of my car. Since the crane stands about 4 feet tall and has a beak the size of a pair of hedge trimmers, there is very little likelihood that this pecking will in any way improve the overall performance of my rear-view mirror.

To avoid being drowned in a sea of bad chi, I instruct my two pug dogs, Satan I and Satan II, to bark at the crane and scare it away. I don't feel that this is an unreasonable request since both dogs have spent the entire morning sleeping on the couch, inhaling and exhaling valuable feng shui that might have discouraged the bird from pecking at my mirror in the first place. (Excessive pug snoring is also no doubt responsible for the numerous fire-ant mounds in my yard and for the fact that I can't seem to get any grass to grow.)

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But the dogs, which have been known to bark at improperly aligned oxygen molecules three blocks away, show no interest in the crane or in the fact that it is vandalizing my mirror. (Satan I responds to my request by lifting his leg on my bookcase, sending my office's chi plummeting to a level one normally associates with Saddam Hussein's bunker.)

So, I can definitely understand Leland Yee's concerns that California will soon break off from the rest of the country and sink into the Pacific Ocean if people don't come to their senses and shift their bed around so it faces a door.

The chi is not to be trifled with. If you don't believe me, I'll show you the bill for my mirror.

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JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


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