Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gas, gas anywhere?

You may not have heard, but the Southeast is experiencing a severe gasoline crisis. Unleaded has slowed to a trickle through the pipelines to this region from the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the recent hurricanes. Seriously. I’m not making this up. Nashville is running out of gas. Stations (the ones that have gas) in Atlanta are experiencing long lines. And here in Asheville, we’re nearly plum out of gas. Not a drop could be found in town yesterday afternoon. Truly. Everyone is freaking out. Relief isn’t expected to come until early next week. Which means that whatever is in people’s tanks right now is just about all they’ve got. Except for me. I’ve got a whole bunch of veggie oil, just sitting in the garage.

Now, a small, petty man who drives a grease-powered car would be smug right now. He would have already pictured a scenario like this one—or worse—a million times in his head. A tiny part of him would have been secretly hoping that some day, the electrical grid would be knocked out of whack and the gas pipelines would stop pumping, and the mountains of Western North Carolina would turn into Mad Max. As other people would resort to walking the earth, he, the Road Warrior, would lord over the vast strips of empty pavement, driving his Mercedes wagon, immune to the collapse of society—as long as people were still willing to eat the occasional french fry. He would be happy. Yes that small, petty man happens to look a lot like me.