Friday, May 4, 2007

More news from So. GA

Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:40 AM
Subject: more news from So. GA

From Katcut
St. Simons Island, GA

I saw a fight at a gas station today. It was really weird-by the time the cops got there it was pretty much over, but they had to take the one guy to the hospital-he was hit in the head with a bat. A rumor started spreading that the stations in our area were going to be completely out of gas by the end of the day. I had filled up just the other day, so I didn't get too bothered by it. I still have ¾ tank in my car and the only place I'm driving is work, so it should last a while longer.

Anyhow-I was only there for a diet Pepsi and some cigarettes-nasty little habit I recently restarted (stress, of course). There was all of this shouting from near the gas pumps-this one guy had almost 20 big gas cans and was trying to fill up all of them. The guy behind him was ticked…he was afraid they'd run out before they got to him, I guess. He started yelling at the guy, the guy yelled back-I'm sure you can figure out the rest of the story-it's happening in a lot of places now-but these guys both brought weapons to the party this time. A baseball bat vs. what looked like a hunting knife. It was kind of far away, so it was hard to tell for sure-the guy with the bat basically dropped "Mr. Gas Can" with two well-placed shots to the head. The other people in line helped #2 guy to roll Mr. Gas Can's car out of the way-then a couple of them picked up the man himself and put him back into his car. They were bizarrely gentle about it too. No one stole his gas-he had to have at least several hundred dollars worth in the cans he had-and the guy who hit him even left him some money for his prepay that he wouldn't be able to finish using. Everyone went back to their business like nothing had happened. It was almost creepy- no one looked upset to be part of what amounted to assault with a weapon.

The cop that responded checked out Mr. Gas Can and an ambulance came to take him to the ER. The only person who'd seen the incident and bothered to stay was me, but I didn't have the tag number of the guy who had done it, so that was the end of it. I asked the gas station clerk-out of pure curiosity more than anything, and she said stuff like it had been happening most of the afternoon in nearly all of her boss' stations. She told me that in the county just to the west of us, some guy had been beaten to death for trying to jump the line.

I decided to do hurricane prep earlier this year-season doesn't start till 1 June, but I got my canned stuff together, water, new batteries for everything, extra first aid stuff, extra Rx's, important papers. That pretty much does it except for fuel. I generally consider ½ tank as 'empty' during hurricane season so I don't get stuck filling up during evacuation. I'm probably going to start filling up at ¾ tank now. Just in case… The rumors have been bad enough that our superintendent has cancelled the next two days of school to "reserve our fuel supply and save energy costs at school". They've already set our A/C controls so it will go no lower than 80-which means the classrooms heat up to over 90 in the middle of the day. We have no tree within 100 yards of the building so it sits and bakes in the sun all day. It's been high 80's/ low 90's all week, and with the smoke from the forest fires blanketing everything, you really don't want the windows open any how. I can't wait to have a long weekend-it will be nice to leave my car sitting for four days instead of just two.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. - Douglas Adams


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