We’ve done this before, ya know.
I’m talking about having heart palpitations when we pull up beside a gas pump.
My wife and I took a three-day trip to the mountains with friends recently. That was the first time in this present petrol mess that I pumped gas that cost more than $4.00 per gallon. (I couldn’t tell that it performed any better than $2.00 gas.)
But we’ve done this before.
As I was getting my driver’s license back in the 70s, OPEC was jerking us around. “The Imperials” gospel quartet was singing a great song about bad times called “No Shortage (of God’s Love.)” There were, however, shortages of a good many other things, gas being at the top of the list. If someone could have told me then that our nation would have an opportunity to be completely energy independent and would choose not to be, I’d have thought he, and the idiots governing us, were crazy. (If I were told that today, I’d think the same thing.)
By the way, we were pretty worried about the planet, then, too. It was clear, we were told, that over-population would likely starve us all. (Or, at least, generations soon to come.) And many folks felt better about themselves by worrying about that.
The “panic button” is not, in any era, likely to rust from disuse.
But back to the pump. In 2011-12, the average price of gas bumped up very close to $4.00 (and probably hit it, if you adjust for inflation). This is not our first rodeo.
Obviously, world events have been serious catalysts for all of our historically serious gas spikes. But, it seems to me, even before Putin the murderer decided to become Putin the war criminal, our energy policies were almost criminally naive.
But at least we should by now have enough experience, be it hard won or stupidly won, to know a little about how we’ll all respond to the present gas price hike.
1) We will complain. We might alter our grousing a bit depending upon what percentage of the price pain we reckon stems from self-inflicted energy witlessness and how much comes from supporting Ukraine. But we will grumble.
2) Most of us will continue to drive both to all of the places we truly need to go and to all of the places we really want to go. We might as well be honest about it. If financial belt-tightening is required, we’ll consider wasting less of the money we usually waste in other areas. But we will drive.
#1 and #2 will continue throughout, but we now come to #3, a fact that can be filed under “it’s an ill wind indeed that blows no good.”
3) We will use the gas price hike as a conveniently plausible excuse not to go anywhere we do not really want to go.
This, too, is nothing new. Forgive me, but for example . . .
I well understand feeling tired and being tempted to skip church. And what if a pandemic comes along, and it’s a good idea to stay home a few Sundays? It did, and it was. But, unless your health is very precarious indeed (and it may be), that excuse is pretty thin at the moment. It might work just as well to blame the barometric pressure in Bolivia for not being conducive to church attendance. Or the sad fact that the dog really is looking a bit pale.
Jesus said a long time ago that “wisdom” has many children (Luke 7:35). We all claim to be her kids and, thus, on this point or that, wise.
Here’s how this works with sky high gas.
Good husband. Good wife. Good marriage. They even loved each other (and the kids who would come) enough to lock in some vows.
Good wife has a dear friend (was it Kristy or Christi?) who needs another bridesmaid to fill out the twelve (each of whom the bride is pretty sure once said “good morning” to her in college). Since this is a wedding, no matter how far away, attending it is clearly a “need” gas-wise and not merely a “want.” Good hubby is not so sure, but he does genuinely love his wife even more than he dislikes weddings. And he prefers peace and is thus willing to “lose” quickly and file this under “need.”
Ah, but here’s the flip side.
Good husband really, really wants to go hunting with some buddies. Gas is sky high, but he needs to blow off some steam, forego bathing for a few days, eat rare meat, and shoot something. “Honey,” quietly ponders good wife, “do you really think this is a good time?” To which he replies, “Yes, love of my life, oh, yes! This, dear one, is among the very deepest of needs.” He’ll go. She’ll deal with it. And they’ll be just fine.
This, friends, is how we will deal with the current gas mess. You can count on it.
And, as an added bonus, Jesus will, yet again, be proved to be wisest of all as we each, yet again, pay tribute to our dear mother, Wisdom.
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent