Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gas prices soar with manufactured panic

A Fox News TV truck pulled up to the BP gas station as people swarmed the fuel pumps in this spirit of manufactured panic. I guess this breaking news. I don't understand why it is so urgent to fill up vehicles now as opposed to tomorrow or next week. Most people have at least three or four days' worth of gas in their fuel tanks. Maybe this is only happening in Western North Carolina [UPDATE: a reader of 1000 Black Lines commented that it's happening in Texas too] (thanks to a television station who preys upon public fears to boost low ratings). I stopped watching television years ago.

Oh, look the sky has fallen, but not the gas prices. This CitiStop is closed with regular gasoline topping $3.09 as advertised by its sign which has been turned off. Is this really a crisis? Or are people really this... (well, I'll let you fill in the blank) _______?

When I first moved down South I laughed every time the local television channel forecasted a snow or "blizzard." The population of the city seemed to be at the local BiLo or Winn-Dixie "stocking up" on bread and milk. I'm from the Upper Midwest. I doubt anyone up there would get off the couch for that kind of announcement. In fact, tornado warnings often drew people to the front porch with camcorders in hand.

Oh, look! It's not the end of the world--Exxon is still open with regular at $2.84 per gallon of fossil fuel. I wonder if they have any beer and cigars left?

I remember when I could fill up my car's tank for six bucks. An older friend said he remembers when twenty-five cents bought half a tank of gas at full service. Do gas stations offer full service anymore? Oh, the times they are a changin'... but nobody likes change. At least not this quickly.

I guess I grew up in a place and time where personal responsibility was more important than personal autonomy... where a community was family and didn't try to run over their neighbor in a desperate rush for another tank of gasoline.

My advice, from one neighbor to another, wait a few days. This will all blow over soon. We'll be okay. We're family.

[by request, cross posted from 1000 Black Lines]


ash said...

Thank goodness for your reasoned head, mulder

1000 black lines said...

Thanks Ash. I must confess. This morning I did panic momentarily when I discovered I was almost out of my favorite blend of coffee ... which comes from Baton Rouge! 'Tsokay, I'll drink tea for a few days.

syntax said...

y'know, there's another liquid that might become scarce in weeks to come due to katrina.

tabasco sauce.

one of life's simpler pleasures.

Sweet Tea said...

I agree that some of us southerners make a mad dash to the grocery store when snow is predicted and most of the time it turns out to be a light dusting.

But some of us that freak out have had the experience of being trapped on a mountainside for days without water and electricity; depending on canned tuna and whatever else may be lurking in the back of ones pantry for nourishment.

Most of the folks that are making a mad dash for the pump are people who have jobs further away from home. How can anyone blame them for feeling the panic. They probably have a little voice in the back of their head chanting...

No gas. No job. No money.

Not all of these people are idiots. Some are...but most of them are just trying to do the best they can for their families.

I just read what I wrote. Sorry to be so serious! I do appreciate the humor of your post. Really. I just have a feeling that the effects of hurricane Katrina are not going to simply blow over in a few days.

1000 black lines said...

Syntax, I'm devastated... not tabasco sauce too!

Mountain Faerie, Good point (about people who have employment further away from home). Glad to know you appreciated the humor in this serious time. I ride the bus and hear people concerned about the bus lines being altered because of gasoline shortage. Some people won't be able to get to work next week because they use public transportation exclusively. Despite all this, we'll get through it together. We always do.

Sweet Tea said...

That's very true.