Friday, September 02, 2005

I am the LAST person...

... to pity those that are bitching about high prices at the pump, but man, this is insanity. I can't believe that these companies who retail gasoline to the public are so blatantly taking advantage of their customers. And you know what? They say nothing. They don't even defend themselves. Why? I'm not sure, but I think it could be because they know that there really is no defense for what they are doing. There is no reason for them to let fuel prices escalate to more than 50 cents per gallon of the previous day's price. Why can't they say to their customers why they are doing it? Where's the accountability?

Personally, I haven't put gas in my car in over a month. That's something I'm proud of. My employer pays for my DART pass, so basically, I get around for free. Sweet deal, eh? But still, I feel bad for all of the schmucks that are shackled to the pump through their cars and trucks (those people that do not drive fuel-efficient vehicles sheerly out of choice do not have my pity, nor my respect). They live and die by the price of a gallon.

This morning I caught wind of lines at fueling stations. I can still remember a day when gas was only 88 cents per gallon, and it really wasn't that long ago. I think it was like, 6 or 7 years ago.

The whole situation is just dispicable. These petroleum companies are raping their retail customers and gouging them to no end, all the while people in the city formerly known as New Orleans are fighting for their lives. The National Guard has descended upon the city to relieve the festering thousands and remedy the looting and lawlessness. It's no longer civilization...


I remember back in 1994 when my neigborhood was flooded by 13 feet of water when the floodgates were washed through at Lake Conroe and the San Jacinto River swelled beyond its 100 year floodplain. My father stayed behind with my brother to guard the house when the day after the breach my family boarded a military helicopter on a makeshift helipad across the flooded street. I waded through the lane, crossing a current that felt like a nimble stream, and I thought, "I forgot Fuzzy Wuzzy! What if our house goes under water?" (Fuzzy Wuzzy and I were cribmates. He and I still hang out. He's a stuffed bear with more history than Elizabeth Taylor.)

We climbed aboard the helicopter and my sister began to sob. I can't remember if she was afraid of heights or she was scared that she would fall out, but I remember pitying her, and then later making fun of her. While on the noisy craft, I remember glancing to the dogs in the their carriers, the coiled rope and cable on which we crouched and the frightened faces of recently inundated homeowners.

The night prior to evacuating, my mother had filled both bath tubs with trash bags and water for my father and brother's use. There were a few families using my parent's house as a headquarters before tomorrow's evacuation. We still had power, so everyone was watching the TV as I reclined on the couch. My mother insisted that even though we didn't have running water, having the power was a much better trade. Shortly after we evacuated, the power went kaput.

The most interesting stories were from when my brother rejoined us as he told us of my father shooting the nutria, rats and vermin that were unlucky enough to climb up our driveway.

I think with all these memories it might be a good idea to write a book, or something.

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