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    Friday, July 15, 2005

    At the Pump

    Stardate 4248.0

    From Newsfare:

    I just filled up my tank and asked a few questions. My kids hate this. “Dad, shut up!”

    At $2.35, according to the guys at the station, regular gasoline is “the highest we’ve ever been.”

    And going up. “It usually goes up on weekends.” They get a fax or email informing them their cost has risen. After adding a profit margin, they post the new prices.

    What price would it take to make people buy less?

    Shaking their heads, they’re not sure. It’s summertime. People will go on vacation, no matter what.

    Three dollars? Five dollars?

    “Three dollars would do it. Not make ‘em stop, just slow ‘em down a little.” The station owner pauses.

    “What’s happening now, they’re all using credit cards. Two, three months, when those bills start coming in, then they’ll think about it.”

    Everybody’s using credit cards? (I had just used mine.) You mean, even people who usually use cash?”

    “Oh, yeah. Don’t forget, some of these campers, that’s a $65 fill up.”

    The other man chimes in. “And you’d be surprised how many bad cards there are out there.”

    How long has that been — I mean, the credit cards?

    Staring into the air a moment, “I’d say the last month or two.”

    The worst thing is, the prices in Canada are worse. At an average of 89.9 cents a litre (Canadian because we are simple and have to be able to multiply things by factors of ten) and roughly 3.8 liters in a US gallon, we are looking at a whopping $3.42 a gallon! In Canadian. So that would be nearly $3 US a gallon! I just realised I used "Worse" twice in the opening sentence. Well it is worse. Especially considering the BIGGEST industry in Alberta (where I live) is OIL. I am certainly glad I do NOT have a credit card, or else I would be in serious trouble. All the CCs do is allow people to live beyond their means.

    It is interesting to see what would make people stop consuming and feeding the giant Oil Company engine that is pretty much robbing us all. The same thing happened with smokes. I smoked for many years, and quite heavily too, I may add. It was bad news, and I found that I could always scrimp enough to buy more butts. If I didn't have lunch at work, that was okay as long as I had smokes (see how pathetic the addiction is?). The Canadian government, in their continuing efforts to stop people from killing themselves and burdoning our health care system (I stand behind them 110%) decided it was time to tax the hell out of smokes (while they are at it, lets legalize pot and tax it too please :P) and the price jumped to nearly $10 a pack. That night, my fiancee and myself finished her last half pack of menthol (BLECH) smokes as mine were already gone, and neither of us have touched one since. That was 3 and a half years ago. Alone, I estimate I have saved $12,800 (a pack a day say) and both of us could easily have saved nearly $20,000 together.

    Interestingly enough, we have bought a house in the meantime, and that would never have been possible if we smoked still. The gas is tough, as we need it to go to work (for the most part), but now, I rarely just "go for an evening drive".

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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