Sunday, April 27, 2008

I got hustled!

I use to enjoy going to the gas station to fill-up my ’91 Chevy pickup, “Old Blue”. Not because I like spending money, but because I enjoyed mixing it up with the “fellas”. I don’t know about your gas station, but my station has the best “gas station hustlers” in D.C.

I’m not one to give a buck to anyone who just asks for it because I know how hard I had to work to get that buck. Three years ago, the best hustle line I heard was what I perceived as the truth. There was a brother, who we will refer to as Skip, approached me one night (I was immediately turned off) and asked, “look brother, I ain’t goin’ to bullshit ya. The truth is, I’m a recovering addict and I can’t find work because I did some time. I’m just trying to get something to eat. I want to work but, right know, the system is working against me. Can you help me?”

I thought, ‘damn, I believe him’. With a tear in my eye, I reached into the cab of my truck and pulled out a Subway bag with my full size turkey sandwich with cheese, relish, lettuce, a boat load of tomatoes and mayo and gave it to Skip. The brother looked at me in amazement and took my hand and shook it with both of his hands. Either Skip was a good actor or he was truly hungry. Nevertheless, I felt good about what I did.

Yesterday, I went to my station and I didn’t see Skip and I didn’t see the usual cast of characters hocking their wears and begging for money. But, I did see that the station increased its regular gas price to $3.59 a gallon for regular. I only got a half tank of gas.

Is there a correlation between the increase in gas cost and not seeing Skip and the fellas, anymore?

I began to wonder more about how the oil cartels and major oil companies are affecting lunch bucket workers like me on a daily basis. I can remember filling up my VW for only $3 in 1971. Now, I’m spending almost $100 to fill-up Old Blue!

Imagine George Bush telling this country “his truth”, that he and his boys were concerned about an oil crisis and that we needed to secure and own a “gas station” in the middle-east so that we would not have to rely on the whims of OPEC. Imagine him saying that we needed to forget about al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and focus on a great business opportunity in Iraq. I’m sure Bush and the fellas factored in the collateral damage (dead bodies) and assessed the long term return on investment to their stake holding buddies (cash in the pockets of the Gordon Gekkos).

Imagine the best hustler line used on the world to go to war. Can you condone the actions taken in Iraq, given the cost of fuel today at your gas station? Hmmmmmmmm

While I pull out my 21-speed Bianchi road bike because my conscious won’t allow me to stomach the human cost for Old Blue and me to get around anymore, check out microbro’s cheap gas locator.

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