I need a preamble. I always need a preamble. I'm a preambler. Because of the nature of my work, I am rarely in one place for any legnth of time, and rarely near a phone. My morning schedule sort of goes like this: Drop kids off, home, get ready for the gym, go to the gym, change, do what I do at the gym, get ready for work, drive to work, go to the office, photocopier whatever I need to do to get prepared for class, then go to class, and then go home. Apart from that small window of time when I see the departamental secretaries (near the photocopiers), I am pretty much a free agent. This makes me all rather neurotic when my husband is away for 6 weeks. Usually if the school needs to call one of us, they call him - he is closest. Anyway...I asked for a cell phone just so I could rest assured that yes, the school could get ahold of me if Aidan ran away or Harry was so sick that I needed to pick him up. So now I have a cellphone. And that means that Eric has been text messaging me messages just for the sake of text messaging. And today my sister called me in the middle of class.
It was okay, really. Note to self: I need to share my teaching schedule. So I called her back when it was convenient. She advised me to buy gas because it was going to be hiked up to $2.08 a L tomorrow. Currently it is selling at $1.11 for regular. I don't know what this translates into gallons. 2 dollars a litre is scandalous. It peaked at 150 a couple weeks ago. I think it sold at 79.9 two years ago. Anyway. Since I was on my way home, I decided, "what the heck"..I already had 3/4 of a tank ( and we drive a gas hog - a Dodge Caravan). When someone builds a fuel efficient vehicle that can safely strap in three children and all their riggings I'll be a firm supporter. Until then, I am stuck with a fuel pig. Sometimes I think the carseat- car manufacturer - oil congolmerates form an unholy trinty to force our dependance on fuel hogs. I digress.
So I arrive at my local gas bar, the one with the best coffee and friendly service (I have actually gotten free coffee merely from the cuteness of my kids) - and low and behold there is a gargantuan line-up. Like every pump had 4 cars in line. Crazy-maddness!! I figured the rumours must have been true. (I had not heard this on the news because the CBC employees are still LOCKED OUT). I pumped my 1/4 tank of gas and chatted with the other folk going about the same business. As I asked about the rumour - the so-called price hike varied from $1.75/L to $2.00 - I learned that no one had heard this from any "reliable source" - (the news). This gas frenzy was pure word of mouth. And the reason for the hike? Hurricane Rita. There were the requisite complaints in the line to pay - about the cost, and then there were the grumblings that we in Canada are oil producers - Alberta is now rolling in the John .A Macs from the burgeoning cost of oil and gas. Newfoundland is also drills for off shore oil. Why does Rita directly affect us? the irritated man in line asks.
In one way, I wallowed in the communitas - the connection our community momentarily experienced in that out of the way gasbar in Nowwherespecial Eastern Canada.
Later, at home, I saw The ATV news. In its preview, it addressed the phenom. And it claimed that these are unfounded rumours. I sat back and thought for a minute on the silliness of it all. What made me stop for gas (at 3/4 full,) - sit in a line, contentedly, thinking that I get to exploit a insiders tip. Seeing all those people in line rather proved the truth of what I was told, and waiting 10 times longer to get a 1/4 freaking tank of GAS seemed worth it. Am I really that gullible? The answer must be a resounding YES.
The interesting thing is the power of the rumour and word of mouth. And how fixated we are on the price of gas. How come we cannot get it together through word of mouth and rumour to stamp out poverty, homelessness or racism? Why do we need to demonstrate our effectiveness as a collectivity over a commodity that is worth waging war over? Over a resource that is basically ruining our planet and erroding any sense of humanity left in the masses. Why?!?!
Silliness in the streets of Canada tonight folks...
16 hours ago