Jonathan Franzen Enviro Shames Chipotle Customers

Posted on September 14, 2015

Jonathan Franzen paper bag for Chipotle Two  Minute Reads project

Jonathan Franzen, author of the novels The Corrections, Freedom and Purity, sometime frenemy of Oprah Winfrey and arch nemesis of author Jennifer Weiner has agreed to be part of the newest incarnation of Chipotle's Two Minute Reads project.

Now you too can be shamed by Jonathan Franzen for drinking your drink out of a paper cup. After a diatribe about the ridiculousness of road signs, Franzen lights into you for using disposable cups to drink your drink at Chipotle.

He writes, "You take the paper cup, you drink your drink, you throw the cup away. Every two minutes in America, sixty thousand paper cups are chucked. Far away, on another continent, the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest has been leveled to create vast eucalyptus plantations to supply the world with pulp, but that’s way beyond the hood of your vehicle. You have places much nearer you need to be."

The short short, which is called "Two-Minute Driving Lesson," is classic Franzen, with a nice touch of condescension and guilt thrown in for good measure. When asked about his inspiration for his story he replied, "I dislike the phrase 'pet peeve,' both the pet part and the peeve part, but it's a good description of how I feel about traffic signage. I’d been looking for a venue in which to vent my little peeve."

Other authors who are joining the club this time around are Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken, Seabiscuit), Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See), Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers), Stephen J. Dubner (Freakonomics), Laura Esquivel (Like Water For Chocolate), Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees, The Mermaid Chair), Colson Whitehead (The Noble Hustle), Mary Roach (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers) and Lois Lowry (The Giver).

Photo: Chipotle