Tuesday, August 16, 2005

We Loves Us Some Petroleum

I love watching older movies, sometimes because they are so well made, some because I can see that cinematic medium struggling to find new ways to express artistic intent. And then there are the movies that are pure time capsules of America -- just look at those gasoline prices!!! Now, pay close attention here, cause ol' Doc Powell has a lesson fer ye.

I recently watched "Love Finds Andy Hardy" (1938) on Turner Classic Movies. I just happened to stop there while channel surfing as that wacky Andy was 'a gassin' up his car at the filling station. A place where several people were employed and they checked your oil levels, cleaned your windshields, checked your tire pressure -- and knew you by name. But what caught my eye was the price of a gallon of gas --23 cents.

When I was 9 years old, my dad sent me to the nearby gas station (where people still worked, and not as cashiers) with - no joke people - a gallon jug, telling me to get a gallon of gas for the lawnmower. The price - 25 cents. This was in the summer of 1968, so in THIRTY years, the price of gas had gone up two cents.

On Monday of last week, I stopped for gasoline at the self-serve, where the only jobs now are cashiers and the folks who come in and stock the drink coolers and microwave sandwiches. The price was $2.37 for regular unleaded. As of this Monday, the 15th, the lowest price I could find was $2.45. Some talking-news-head commented the price has jumped 20 cents in two weeks.

This is progress?? Why, I'd be tempted to think that America has some oil-rich family in the White House, who ..... oh yeah ..... I guess that's why the first job American troops had in "controling" Iraq was to secure oil fields and wait years to bother with getting electrical and water systems on line. I heard full-grown adults back in the 1970s howl they would never pay more than One Dollar for gas.

Just one more note from ole' Doc Powell. Rudolf Diesel, the man who invented the Diesel Engine, designed it to run on VEGETABLE oil. However, he was told by Rockefeller and other businessman this engine would never sell in America unless he converted it to petroleum fuel.
I think, folks, we have met the "Fuels" and they are Us. Like they say, a Fool and his money cling to petroleum like it was something from an all-loving teat.

More tidbits on gas prices can be read at Say Uncle, another proud member of the Rocky Top Brigade.

1 comment:

Tennessee Jed said...

You know the only reason for this latest round of price hikes has been on PURE speculation. Now if these shortages speculated are not real the price will only drop a nickle or two.

Whatever happened to having staff at filling stations? The little store down at the end of our street has to lock the door for the attendant to pee or restock the cooler. I know $6.50 an hour is killing the owner to pay his slave. Since he stocks gas on Thursday and ups the price all week long.

Hey but the economy is good! It just ain't trickled down to my level yet.