Monday, April 30, 2007

Fil 'Er Up! - by Oracle

Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 12:59 PM
Subject: Fil 'Er Up! - by Oracle

I stopped at the gas station today to fill up. Gosh! I wonder how much longer we will treat this like such a mundane task instead of the special event that it is? To be able to stop at a petrol station, virtually anywhere, anytime, and pay so little for the precious liquid that runs our lives! We are going to miss it terribly! I watched the other patrons around me, staring blankly as the numbers race by in a blur, getting their personal fix of 'Juice'. Addicted to precious oil; willing to pay any price, willing to do anything, just to be able to drive to the next station for the next fix.

Watching the people pour their work & savings into the gas tanks of their SUVs; $50 for barely a 1/3 of a tank. Watching them think 'Will it be enough gas to get me to work for the next 2 days?'. Then back to the station and dump more of the precious gas down the maw of the demanding machine, now their master! Feed me or I will refuse to work for you!

Watching the working poor limp into the station, barely running on fumes. The $10 they used to spend is now $40 or more. You can see the desperation in their eyes; how can I afford the gas and food and shelter for my family? Prices on everything are going up almost weekly. The employers are tightening up and starting to lay people off. Things are getting tough all over, but especially for those already at the bottom.

A man in a suit filling a Chevy Tahoe watches me fill my Honda Fit. He approaches and makes small talk as I screw the cap back on the tank and pick up my $40 receipt for the fill. He offers to buy my gas-sipper on the spot; for a price that is thousands more than I paid for it a few months ago. I politely decline as I do not want to wait a year or more for a replacement, for a price to be determined at the time of delivery. Hepersists; I decline again. He becomes angry and starts shouting at me about the $200 it costs to fill his truck, about the god-damned Ay-rabs, and the god-damned oil companies making all the profits, paying off the god-damned politicians, and how it's not fair to anyone!! He pauses, lets out a sob and begins to cry; he is spending $1000 a month, half of his family's mortgage money, to pay for gas to drive to his lousy job in downtown Dallas, and how he's about be laid off from his job, and he's about to lose his house. I take a twenty out of my wallet, stuff it in his hand, mumble something about this will help you some on your fill-up, and quickly leave.

Later that evening, I think about what I saw at the gas station. Most of those poor schmucks just don't get it; our lives are changing dramatically every day and life will continue to get more difficult andexpensive.My $20 gift to the guy with the Tahoe isn't going to change anything for him; just push him one step down the road toward beggerhood. Is this where we're all headed? Impoverish ourselves & our families to end upbegging a few dollars to drive a few miles? Should I have sold my car to the desperate man and just ride my bike? AM I READY TO MAKE THAT KIND OF CHANGE IN MY LIFE?

We are living the Chinese curse, we ARE living in interesting times.......

No comments: