Groucho Turns Green

“I’m too tired to help and, anyway, Harpo, you should do all of the cleaning up – you made all of the mess” said Groucho.

“Groucho, you’re always complaining about something!” replied Harpo.

“That’s because there are so many things that are wrong” said Groucho.

“Maybe” agreed Harpo “but if you always complain about all of them, no-one will take any notice of you. You should pick one thing at a time and get that fixed – then work on the next thing. What is your very biggest complaint?”

“Well, getting sick is really bad but people don’t do that on purpose – so, I guess, people messing up the planet would be my biggest complaint.” said Groucho “But I can’t stop them all by myself!”

“Then get everyone to help. We can all do something. Just think about what everyone is good at and I’m sure they’ll help.”

Groucho thought that idea was worth a try, so he started by asking Vincent – who is really good at painting and drawing – to make a big sign telling people that they should look after the Earth.

Vincent made a beautiful sign but Groucho thought that the writing should be bigger. He almost burst holding in a complaint about it – but he managed.

Next, Groucho asked Albert what he could do to help. Albert, who seems to know everything about everything, started telling Groucho about pollution and climate change and greenhouse effects and melting icecaps and rising sea levels..

This time, Groucho couldn’t help bursting out “Stop!” he exclaimed. “You’re making my head hurt! Can’t you just make it really simple?”

Albert thought for a moment and then he said, “How about this:

“Burning oil and coal
Is taking a toll
And heating the air.
So show that you care
Stop polluting the seas
and look after the trees.
You know what I mean,
Help Groucho go green!”

“That’s just what I need!” said Groucho “and I bet Elvis could turn that into a song.’

And he was right – that’s just what Elvis did.

When Groucho asked Bill, who just loves technology, he immediately suggested get a solar hot water sytem, recycling water for the garden and maybe installing some solar panels so that they could make their own electricity.

Gummo was next on Groucho’s list. The main thing that Gummo is good at is eating, so Groucho couldn’t think what Gummo could do to help. But, to his surprise, Gummo had lots of ideas.

“We could eat more of that really nice food from the local market” Gummo suggested. “That will save fuel because its not transported so far. And I could help make some vegetable lasagne – that’s really yummy and saves energy because it doesn’t have any meat in it. And mushroom pizza – that’s yummy too! And ..”

In fact, Groucho couldn’t stop Gummo talking about all the different types of food that would save energy.

Chico was keen on the idea too. Chico loves being outdoors and he wanted to help by making a vegetable garden – he even wanted to take the kitchen scraps so that he could make compost.

Groucho was worried about asking Zeppo, who was always frightened of everything but Harpo suggested that Zeppo would be great at warning people of the dangers of pollution and using too many resources.

“And what about us, Harpo? What are we going to do?” asked Groucho.

Harpo had always loved playing and he had lots of toys that he didn’t play with anymore. He agreed that it would be great fun to get out all his old toys and pick out the ones that he could give to younger kids to play with. There might even be some that he could find a new use for – for himself.

“And as for you, Groucho,” Harpo said “since you are so good at complaining, you would make the perfect ‘eco-monitor’ – letting people know when they’re not doing the right thing for the environment.”

Groucho was pleased – for once somebody actually thought that all of his complaining would be a good thing!