Saturday, May 3, 2008

Whoever Has Authority Over the Oil Companies (if such a person exists)

I have seen no proof of an earthly entity with any power or authority over the oil companies, be they sheiks or Texans. But if you do exist, oh oily one, I've got some advice for you.

Now, I'm not going to tell you to put a cap on the gas prices. I won't tell you to reopen the scores of refineries that were shut down when the oil companies consolidated the process and cut their capacity for production to one tenth of its previous potential (thereby tripling the cost of gas). I won't tell you to force them to emancipate the American government from the virtual slavery in which they are shackled. I won't even tell you to clean up the environment. Collusion, corruption, lobbying/loan sharking, pollution, price gouging . . . keep it all up. Who's gonna stop them? Well, I suppose you could, if you really do exist, you Santa Clause of fossil fuels.

But I know that even if you are capable, you aren't willing. I have come to terms with that. What I can't accept, beyond all the slick scams and brute force, is one minuscule detail, and it is that seemingly trivial point about which I must advise you today. Do whatever you have to do. Talk to whoever you need to talk to. But please act now on this tiny piece of advice:

Drop that stupid 9/10 of a cent per gallon.

I can understand charging $3.89 for a gallon of unleaded. But I don't know where your boys get off setting a price of $3.89 and nine tenths per gallon. Nine tenths? NINE TENTHS?!? This is the spit in the eye, the salt in the wound, the straw bill delivered to the broken-backed camel. Giving us a one-tenth-cent discount to keep it from being an even $3.90, that's just cruel.

So please, talk to them. Reason with them. Make them stop the psychological games, okay? We know we're getting ripped off. Just round up. Don't patronize us with the idiocy of fractional cent savings. I'll happily pay the extra penny per tank to make that little superscript 9 disappear from the price. I don't know how it's even legal to charge less than a cent for any unit of any substance. Crack dealers might be destroying their customers, but I'll bet 100 barrels of petroleum that they have the decency to charge at no smaller than 50-cent increments.

So there. Go ahead and take our money. But spare us our dignity.

1 comment:

Beaver Mom said...

I just drove by a BJ's station that advertised Regular at $3.45 a gallon.

What if we....(drum roll please)...

...sold gas by the half-gallon!

Yes! Then the sign would say $1.72!

Gas hasn't been that cheap since 2003!

Now, people would have to adjust somewhat. For example, my car would now get about eleven miles per half-gallon, and so forth, but just think what it would do for America's morale! :)