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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Out of Touch America

I laugh out loud each morning when I hear, from one of the T.V. talking heads, that the cost of a gallon of gas has ratcheted up another nickel to $3.61 per gallon, which is read under the cacophony of nature-Nazis demanding more fuel mileage from our new vehicles, more car pooling, more mass transit, more, more, more. Meanwhile the Democratic controlled congress call for more hearings on the outrageous profits of the oil companies. Yeah, like any oil company has a say in it.

Well, if you’re like me, the $3.61 per gallon price left our station a long time ago and is not likely to be seen again any time soon. We are now well over $4.00 per gallon with no end in sight. So the $3.61 is not just old news, but merely a fond memory. And we, here in the hinterland, are so out of round with the rest of the nation that when our “gas tax holiday” arrives, our gas will still be over four bucks a gallon.

So while the rest of the country is whining over the cost of gas, at their local Seven Eleven, we here in rural America are hit with the double whammy of higher gas and the long drive for basic needs. For instance, if I insist on button front fly Levi work jeans, I have the privilege of driving 150 miles for the pants. Likewise for my work boots, generic prescriptions, bulk foods, major appliances or any electronics I want to use before its useful life and warranty expires, while packed around in a UPS truck. In fact, a very rural hot-rodder recently told me the other day that his best friend was the Fed Ex guy.

As for those CAFÉ standards, they clearly have little meaning up here, as over 50 per cent of our local traffic is commercial and light duty trucks designed to carry heavy loads of building materials, equipment, ranch supplies or livestock. I can’t wait to see someone up here carting around a unit of lumber, four horses, a prize bull or six barrels of diesel behind a Honda Civic. Ain’t gonna happen.

So while urban America whines about spending their latte funds on gas for their monster 4X4 SUV, which will never see dirt or snow, we silently go about our business of seeing that they get their food, energy and building materials, so that they can continue working on denying our ability to do so.

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