Sunday, July 16, 2006

The 1.2 Billion Dollar Minute


One minute,
about the time it takes to comb your hair, glance in the mirror, and scratch your ass on the way out the door to work.

All the time it takes to simply place a new set of pricing placards upon the sign out front, indicating a change in the cost of fuel at the pumps.

A very disturbing thing happened all across America on Sunday, indeed, all across the world it seems, a very disturbing act of piracy and international commercial fraud. The price of gas and diesel at the pump began what is sure to be an historic ride to an all time high, the raping of America has begun.

One of the many sideshow joys that I have come to know as living in "Republican America" under Boy George's rule, is that I have the distinct honor and privilege of working multiple jobs to pay my way and support my family, one of which is that of a gas station attendant, or better known as a "C-Store Clerk".

As an industry insider, I have been privy to several alarming trends and events, the great "hot dog debacle" of March '06 should never be forgotten. ( those things really should not have been delivered in overheated U-Haul trucks, I am certain!), at any rate, and quickly cutting away from my usual humorous approach, I am going to hit you with some stunning facts and some good old fashioned "Hard Copy" style reporting.

The owner of the C-Store at which I work is a pretty quiet man, albeit obviously a strong Republican type, an independent owner, a former Mobil Franchisee, and a fairly nice guy , as far as guys go here in Southwest Florida. We will refer to him here as "John", (coincidentally, his name is actually John, but we have changed that and will refer to him simply as "John" for this article).

"John" has a manager who runs the store for him, and so "John" really only stops in on the weekends, when his manager is off. You can always look forward to "John" stopping in on Saturday or Sunday in order to fill the TACC 2 with change ( that nifty safe that 7-11 developed which only allows you to get one roll of coins at a time, two minutes apart...for security reasons), but you know you will almost never see him on both a Saturday and a Sunday, the man has great family values and well, priorities..right?

Well go figure, "John" was here on Saturday, but low and behold...he also came in on Sunday!!! I knew something was terribly amiss. "John" had come to raise the price of gas by nearly 2% at a single stroke.

I am really not sure if "John", or his many counterparts really know the power of striking terror in the hearts of American's they have? This is where the tongue in cheek stops, and the real journalism begins. (or, this is where I quit cracking jokes, and get very pissed off and attempt to incite a riot!!...for legal purposes, the preceding statement WAS in jest, and NO I do not wish to promote civil unrest, yet...)

It goes like this...

Hamas was bored and in need of some entertainment at the expense of Israel, so they went on a midnight raid, shot some guns, blew some stuff up, and killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped an Israeli soldier.

Well, Israel was obviously pissed, so Olmert and others said "Hey", this sucks, let's kick some Hamas ass! After a few days of reciprocal missile lobbing and general mayhem, Hezbollah saw what was going on and wanted to party with the neighbors as well.

So Hezbollah (the Jones), not wanting to be out done by Hamas (the Smiths), decided that they would up the anti, kill eight Israeli soldiers and kidnap two, all in the name of one upmanship. This is where it gets cloudy.

There are some who say that Damascus and Tehran, Syria and Iran, were actually behind this second act, as a way to provoke U.S. intervention. And as well, there are those that say that the Hamas thing was a fake by CIA operatives who wanted to push the region over the edge in order to justify U.S. intervention.

At any rate, Israel, being the tenacious little bastards they have so lovingly come to be known as, lobbed a few missiles, Hezbollah said some nasty words, Damascus drew a line in the sand, Tehran said "i know nothinkkk!!", and a drone/possible Russian cruise missile, complete with CNN analasys and footage, slammed into an Israeli ship with "no casualties, no major damage", and overnight the price of oil raised to an historic, never before dreamed of high of $78 a barrel!! Whew!!!! What a mouthful all that was. So what does this have to do with "John"?

I am so glad you asked. Overnight, with the terror and tensions, the agony and the pain, the irony and idiocy, Gas and Diesel were propelled to new values. The very fuel beneath my feet at the C-Store it seems had become more expensive!? Never mind that the bill for said fuel, still unpaid, had never changed.

Never mind, that the bill of lading for hauling said fuel had never changed. Never mind that "John" had incurred a total of absolutely zero extra, or unaccounted costs for said fuel beneath my feet. The price of fuel still rose steadily today on its own.

OK, so I know about supply and demand, no change in either. So I know about the economic theory of buy low, sell high. Yet nothing happened to actually justify a raise in cost/ hence raise in price....not on July 16 anyway.

"John" came in on Sunday, simply to make an extra $1200 bucks. He has 20,000 gallons of fuel beneath his feet, added an extra 6 cents to a gallon, and poof! No car payment till December. We are under a price gouging protectorate aren't we? And it kicks in when? Ah!!!!!

There's the rub!!!! Too soon for the dogs to watch! Built in rules say let the boys take a profit on what's in the ground first, and then we'll regulate just how deep they penetrate said partners after the fact!! This really does bring a new meaning to bend over! And we defy Gay rights?!?!?

So by a stroke of a keyboard on the back office system, by the placing of new prices out front, by the simple desire to get a good rub upon America's soft sweet spot when we are rolled over, "John's" all around the country cop a feel? Ironic isn't it that "John" is also a moniker used to refer to a man who uses and abuses prostitution for pleasure.

Welcome then, welcome to the prostitution of America and her own independent gas stations. "I had to raise, I only did it because everyone else down the highway did" That was an actual excerpt from my conversation with "John" in regards to this. He now knows my stripes politically, as do I his. Yet I still work for said C-Store, I have to be able to afford Boy George's most affordable medical plan for the disabled and retired! God bless us all, and now I know why I registered as a non-Republican this year for the first time in thirty.

I can only offer my heartfelt, sincere, and warmest apologies for the past, as for the future?...... The "Johns" of America may get their rocks off tonight, but our time is near, our thoughts are here.

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