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The Hedonians

by J. W. Jepson, D.Min.

Life In Christ Center, 3095 Cherry Heights Road, The Dalles, Oregon 97058

(541) 296-1136

copyright � 2001 by J. W. Jepson

All rights reserved, including the right to grant the following permission and to prohibit the misuse thereof:

The Author hereby grants permission to reproduce the text of this article, without changes or alterations*, as a ministry, but not for commercial or non-ministry purposes.

*Permission is given for publication of excerpts and condensed versions.


(First published in The Pentecostal Evangel, January 20, 1991)

* * * * *

Once upon a time in the far-off land of Hedonia lived an interesting group of people. They were educated, prosperous, and well-pleased with themselves.

But the Hedonians indulged in a practice peculiar to their culture. They had a passion for driving their cars in the fast lane. Now, that in itself did not raise many eyebrows among visitors and other observers. What did shock some people, though, was the Hedonian habit of not staying in their lane. They would impulsively drive their automobiles off the road--sometimes into the median strip, where they often plowed into shrubbery and trees; sometimes onto the shoulder, where at times they glanced off concrete barriers; sometimes running up embankments, where they bumped into boulders and even drove into the concrete piers holding up the freeway overpasses. Of course, the results of this irrational behavior were deadly.

To combat this epidemic of highway injuries and deaths, the Hedonian Highway Safety Administration strongly advised motorists to place a four-foot thick layer of latex around their automobiles.

The idea caught on quickly. One manufacturer began marketing such a device under the product name Kardom. "Practice safe driving; wear a Kardom" became a familiar slogan. The lanes were broadened to accommodate the innovation.

A few voices strongly advocated that people stay in their own traffic lane, but they were ignored by most Hedonians. Because the impulse to drive "freely" was so strong, such advice was considered impractical. Also, civil libertarians saw it as an infringement on personal driving rights. Wearing a Kardom became the politically correct solution, and even the suggestion that people "just say no" to reckless driving was avoided in the official literature.

An annoying counter-culture did manage to persist among the Hedonians. These non-conformists insisted on staying on their own side of the road. Because these "right-laners" did not plow into various objects, most of them did not bother to install Kardoms. Others motorists regarded this as old-fashioned and even self-righteous.

Because Hedonians continued to drive unprotected and because the Kardoms themselves had a significant failure rate, the population declined. Eventually it died out.

After extensive study of the once-flourishing Hedonian civilization, modern anthropologists and sociologists have concluded that the root cause of its demise was the inability to develop and put into general use a fail-safe protective device.

Hedonia is now populated by descendants of the "right-laners." These quaint, conservative folk still drive on their own side of the road, as did their ancestors. The secret of their survival remains a mystery to most scholars.

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