This saying originated in World War II, when the United States had rations on gas and other items. Therefore, one part of propaganda was “Is this trip really necessary?” to encourage people to conserve their limited resources.
However, I saw it first in “Baseball Bugs” (a Looney Tunes cartoon). When Bugs Bunny becomes the entire Tea Totalers team, he waits at home plate for a Gas House Gorilla to run around the bases, only to be tagged out. Bugs then chews a carrot and pulls out a sign that said, “WAS THIS TRIP REALLY NECESSARY?”
Given my absentminded personality, unfortunately, this frequently happens to me too (but not quite in the sense of an unnecessary run around the bases or conservation of limited resources). I have a few examples of where these come up:
- Sometimes, when I go downstairs with my laundry to use the washing machines, I will forget at least one the following: laundry detergent, money for the machines, or room keys (thankfully, the lattermost only happened once).
- Once, I left for a Northwestern basketball game on bike without my full bike lock. Dead ball, equipment violation. Two thousand five hundred yard penalty, repeat first down. (Yes, I did actually say that when I got back to the game, 20 minutes late.)
- And one time, I left without my hard hat (while wearing my bike helmet). Although it’s not an “essential” item, for all intents and purposes at games, it IS!
- Ah, yes. Thinking that I forget an item either at home or the office, only to return to the other and then realize that it is in my bag, pocket, or non-obvious spot in the first place.
Now, the reason I wrote this post, thankfully, was NOT something to do with absentmindedness. Yesterday, since it was Sunday, I took the L to get to League. Well, it took longer than I wanted, because I missed the train from Foster that arrived 2 minutes early, and then missed a train at Roosevelt. When I finally got to League, there was nobody there, which I might have been able to anticipate since there was a State Championship in Madison, Wisconsin that attracted many of the regulars at our League.
I waited for about 40 minutes before giving up and returning to Evanston. Thankfully, the train rides were not a total waste, since I was able to do some journaling and homework for my Hebrew class on the train. (No grading did I need to do this time 🙂 )
Additionally, I think that train rides are never a waste of time–I enjoy them. If I were to have driven to League, then it would have been a waste. Since the trains and buses are running anyway, I’m not wasting any resources. Plus, on Sundays I budget all that time for League, so I had no other plans anyway.
But next time, I’ll be sure to look out if there a nearby tournament that I can’t attend, but may affect my League’s attendance!
Today is the sixty-ninth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes nine weeks and six days.