By William Thomas

Just when you thought you’d seen every trick from the Book of Nastiness, some mook comes up with “coal rolling.” Imagine you’re behind the wheel of your Prius and inhaling that new-car smell with gusto. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself, tooling down the open road in your comfortable, sensible hybrid.  What’s not to like – a quiet ride with exceptional mileage that’s easy on the atmosphere.  It sends a great message to your kids, maybe even your neighbours, that you’re doing your part to put less harmful emissions into the environment and help stop global warming.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, there’s a big honkin’ truck beside you.  You can’t help but notice the uncanny resemblance between the two guys in the cab smirking and pointing at you and the dental-challenged bad guys in the movie Deliverance. After they pass you, you hear a loud backfire from the truck, a sharp explosive boom that sends a thick burst of black smoke.  Engulfed in a cloud of choking soot, you’re forced to pull off the road.  Known as “coal rolling” or “rolling coal,” you have just been the targeted victim of a new and vile protest movement.

The two doofuses in the big honkin’ truck underscore this unique act of road rage with a sign in the back window that reads:  “Prius Repellent.”

That there are people out there that would go to such lengths to heap scorn and toxins on fellow human beings who are trying to save the planet – it truly boggles the mind and defies human logic.

Yeah, right-wing bullies are smearing environmental friendly people with a storm of black exhaust fumes in order to send their message of entitlement – it’s a free country, we’ll poison and pollute all we want. Not just a few ugly incidents, this hillbilly Honey Boo Boo virus is spreading across North America. Wisconsin appears to be the “Coal Rolling” capital of America, while British Columbia, one of the most naturally beautiful provinces in Canada, is home to our black stain of shame.

There are – and I hope you’re sitting down for this one – hundreds of websites and chat rooms dedicated to the best ways in which you can achieve the thickest, blackest carcinogenic blast without damaging your truck. On one of these sites, people who drive hybrid cars are referred to as “nature nuffies” and those who drive Japanese cars are called “rice burners.” There is actually a “Smoke Stack Kit” for sale to make it easier for you to bury an unsuspecting do-gooder in cancer-causing crap!  They don’t actually say that their beliefs come from watching Duck Dynasty or that their creative architect is The Cable Guy … because they don’t have to.

Excuse my incredulity, but I have great difficulty understanding the mentality of North Americans so eager to poison the well in order to express their displeasure with clean drinking water.  How in the name of David Suzuki can clean air, more oxygen and cooling an overheated planet possibly be bad or divide people along liberal and conservative lines?  I mean, when 176 million gallons of crude oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, were the “coal rollers” rooting for BP?!?

It’s like doing an end run around an environmental group protesting the decimation of a rain forest by … by setting fire to the forest!

It’s like breaking through a flotilla of boats full of animal activists trying to save a whale tangled up in a fishing net by … by harpooning the whale!

The mantra of the “coal rollers” is that their lifestyle is being threatened by too many laws and regulations. They want to return to a wild west society in which they are free to foul the nest of nature to their heart’s content.

Note to the “coal roller”:  please forgive the Prius owners, the tree huggers and environmentalists in general. I know they’re a bunch of annoying, rosy-cheeked do-gooders, but they’re just there to help you guys.  They’re just trying to create an atmosphere in which your kids don’t have to wear oxygen tanks in class and dress up like astronauts when they go to the beach.

And yes, I have hugged a tree.  Most frequently the towering maple outside my window that provides me with shade, protects me from shoreline storms and emits badly needed oxygen into the air.  Trees, as far as I can tell, are doing more to clean up the environment than people.  It would be great if one day the “coal rollers” had an intimate encounter a nice big ol’ tree … preferably at low speed.

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