The Most Sustainable Excerpts from 50 Shades of Green

Illustrated by BAF ’17

Right now, the only thing hotter than global warming is this steamy new romp from G.W. Jameson. The novel, printed on mostly recycled material, follows the passionate commitment to helping our planet shared by young, naïve community center volunteer Anabelle Glass and the dangerous, aloof, and unemployed activist Crispin Green. Al Gore himself described it as “inconvenient,” while one of the top administrative assistants at Greenpeace called it so good it borders on “unreadable.” But don’t take their word for it—see for yourself. Here are its most environmentally conscious sections.

We get into the shower together and our eyes lock. His twinkle with the knowledge of shared experience, a shared purpose. He turns on the shower head and we can’t help ourselves. Almost immediately I begin rubbing myself. The phosphate-free soap doesn’t make for the best lather, but at least it’s keeping the local creek at a stable pH level. He watches me, slowly caressing shampoo from a 30% recycled bottle into his hair. Then, without breaking eye contact for a second, he reaches out his arm and turns off the 50 degree water. In a smooth, deep growl, he mutters, “Only leave the shower head on when you’re rinsing.” (58)

He reaches two fingers in, deeper, deeper, until he can’t go any further. I’m beginning to sweat, my heart is pounding. I can hardly hold in my excitement anymore. Without any warning, he draws his fingers out of the plastic bin, tightly clutching something. He rotates it around and now I understand. It’s the glass coke bottle I recycled yesterday. But something was wrong. His face contorted in agony, he grunts, “This goes in the glass bin, not the aluminum!” (176)

“YES! YES!” I moan. He’s sticking it in, now twisting it ever so slightly, coaxing it slowly. As it enters, it perfectly aligns with the inside. I’m filled with ecstasy and I feel like a white light is blinding me from above. “All the way!” I scream. And with that, he finishes putting in the fluorescent bulb. (111)

My mouth envelops it slowly. It feels so smooth, yet so hard, so rigid. I like the way it sits in my mouth, filling it up until it can’t hold any more. But there’s this tinge of guilt in the back of my mind, and it stops me cold. I withdraw it from my mouth, shame starting to build as my cheeks flush shades of crimson. “Is it—” He puts a single finger up to my lips, already understanding what I was going to ask before I could finish thinking it. “Yes,” he whispers, “The rutabaga is organic.” (217)

– MWG ’16

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