President Hugo Chavez called on Venezuelans to stop singing in the shower and to wash in three minutes because the oil-exporting nation is having problems supplying water and electricity.
“Some people sing in the shower, in the shower half an hour. No kids, three minutes is more than enough. I’ve counted, three minutes, and I don’t stink,” he said during a televised Cabinet meeting.
“He obviously has no teenage daughters”, remarked English columnist Gerald Warner in the Telegraph. “You could not ask for a better illustration of the knee-jerk instinct of socialism to intrude into every area of private life than the prohibition of singing in the bath and the restriction of showers to three minutes”.
Venezuela has suffered several serious electricity blackouts in the past year because of rapidly growing demand and under-investment, which has been aggravated by a drop in water levels in hydroelectric dams that provide most of its energy. Chavez announced energy-saving measures and said he would create a ministry to deal with the electricity shortages. Other proposed measures included cloud-seeding and prohibiting imports of low-efficiency electrical appliances. He called on ministries and state-run companies to cut energy consumption by 20 percent immediately.
More Latin American countries are facing water problems. Two months ago Brazilians were urged to “pee in the shower” to conserve water.
See Hugo Chavez’ promo speech for the three-minute shower (in Spanish).
Source: Ana Isabel Martinez, Reuters / Washington Post, 21 Oct 2009