Fuel foolishness

The fuel price went up (again) at midnight last night. Although this happens fairly regularly in our part of the world, it never fails to instil a siege mentality in many of our good citizens.

I passed several filling stations on my way home where the forecourts were jammed with vehicles jockeying for position at the pumps. I saw two guys almost come to blows over who had pushed in front of whom. This is rather ludicrous, because (a) the extra cost to fill up your average tank is roughly the same as you would pay for a cheeseburger and (b) you can only realise this saving once (and that cheeseburger would just go straight to your thighs, anyway). It hardly seems worth the effort to me, but I suppose a perceived bargain is as good as an actual one. Then again, both of the fellows in question drove expensive imported cars, so they probably can’t afford to waste a cent extra if they want to keep up with their repayments.

It would make far more sense to stage a peaceful protest outside the offices of the Department of Minerals and Energy. Please note: I said peaceful. In no way do I advocate tarring and feathering the Minister. Nor do I support toilet-papering her car and I definitely do not condone introducing manure into her private coffee supply.

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25 thoughts on “Fuel foolishness

  1. Here in Ireland, one of the big grocery chain stores issue discount vouchers that save you miniscule amounts at certain petrol stations, ensuring that there is ALWAYS a queue at those filling stations. My guess is the money saved is burned off in the wait to get to the pump!

    PS Does all this talk of cheeseburgers have anything to do with your previous post, KN? How’s the ‘healthy eating’ thing going, btw?

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  2. Terri, they do that in Australia too – a novelty for us poor South Africans… 🙂

    KN, I guess it’s better than when we lived in Zimbabwe during sanction years – there you queued for up to a month, simply leaving your car in the line, or marking out your territory with stakes and string while you drove off the remaining fumes in the tank. We were a fit nation of walkers and cyclers!!!

    (When you DON’T go do those things to the Minister – can I join you?)

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  3. I don’t drive, so none of this bothers me yet 🙂 But there was something on the news this morning about the some business/economic group wanting the Irish govt to introduce carbon taxes. Which would, of course, impact on petrol.

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  4. terri: Regarding the savings being burned up in the queue – that would be my guess, too (hah! Poetry). The cheeseburger reference is purely theoretical, I assure you.

    michelle: I look forward to you joining me in NOT antagonising the Minister. You are more than welcome to think of more things that we should NOT do.

    anne: People love their cars here. They take it as something of a personal insult when the fuel price increases.

    fence: To paraphrase from Repo Man (the greatest movie of All Time), the more you drive, the less intelligent you become, so the longer you can put it off, the better.

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  5. I live in an area where public transport really isn’t an option so I have no choice but to bend over and grab my ankles when it comes to rising gas prices. Interestingly you get a much higher tax break when you buy a Hummer (huge gas hog) vs a hybrid or something similarly ecosmart; where’s the incentive? Go figure. As far as not tainting the coffee… make sure it’s at least a nice flavored variety. You know, cinnamon or hazelnut or something. =)

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  6. I’ve been openly wasting petrol for all to see and get annoyed by for the past week!

    Why yesterday, I drunk a WHOLE molotov cocktail in front of a petrol station!

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  7. Might as well join the international petroleum product conversation. We are being severely penalized in Canada by Katrina with ballooning gas prices htis past week. We used to be such a polite lot but blows at the pumps are getting more and more commonplace…

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  8. We had the same over here in London last week. When I left to go on holiday last week, I filled up my tank at 91p per litre. Yesterday when I put in some more petrol, it cost me 96.5p per litre at the exact same pump!!

    Thank heavens my morning commute is only down 2 flights of stairs and into the office!!

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  9. livewire: I’m guessing that the hybrid manufacturers haven’t quite struck the right balance between their R&D and lobbying budgets just yet.

    lee: So that explains the sudden need for asbestos toilet paper.

    andrea: Impolite Canadians? Petrol-slugging Brits? Could these be Signs of the End Times?

    tertia: If it wasn’t for all the psychos out there, I would be joining you.

    del: Do you ever suffer from ‘stair rage’?

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  10. Yeah and to make it worse I lost my cheapie parking spot in Town the day the petrol price went up. Paid R48 for ONE day’s parking yesterday which pained me greatly. Worked out it will cost about R1300 just to get to work daily and park. Is it worth it? Hell yeah, I lurv my car, hate stinky public transport. Watch out for me and Tertia hitching on the side of the road in a suburb near you soon. Heh heh

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  11. chitty: I’m sure you meant to say “NOT put your foot up her ass”.

    bee: Yow! That’s a harsh premium to pay. Let’s see… that translates into about 60 cheeseburgers. Holy cholesterol, Batman!

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  12. Ah yes. Fighting over gas. Here in Colorado, we once had a snowstorm that dumped 3 to 7 feet of snow over vaious areas. It shut down a major highway for almost four days, so we were unable to get gas in my town.

    The only gas station with any left had to shut down because people were fighting over it. Ridiculous.

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  13. Terri, my local grocery chain here in Washington State, USA, does the same thing..problem is, the one in MY neighborhood doesn’t have any pumps, so I would have to drive all the way to the Northside to save a few frigging pennies. No, I don’t think so. So silly, really…just like the Shrub administration.

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  14. michelle: Not sure. A taxi by any other name, perhaps?

    paul: Not only are you a rarity, but you are quite an inspiration, too.

    ZG: I wonder if they had similar problems in the 19th Century when cost of horse fodder went up?

    tj: Recognition at last! I shall keep a cabinet post open for you when I take over the world.

    shizgirl & lunasea: Logic often takes break when there’s a ‘bargain’ to be had.

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  15. The thought of helping not doing stuff to the minister suddenly got me thinking. I would most definately not put brooklax in her morning coffee or superglue in her shampoo for that matter. How about us not removing the brakes from her car or not glueing(is that the word?) her car’s petrol cap closed so that she can’t put petrol in??

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  16. buddess: You’re terrible, Muriel!

    ekapa: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    angel: Why can’t they make cars that run on hot air? Politicians are an infinitely renewable resource.

    [ibidtrk – inbound idiot tracker]

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