These days everyone is slaving to the crude

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2006

One day I'm going to sit down with my grandson, or granddaughter, (I'm not particular), and tell them about oil and gas. And they'll look at me all crazy-like, as if I just grew two horns, buckteeth and a third eye.

Cars? Our cars? Ran on what?

Gasoline, baby. Gasoline.

And I'll pat their heads, a bent-over, crooked dinosaur.

It's sort of sickening really. In the land of the free, we are not free. We are all slaves to the crude. Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas Tea.

Hard to believe, but around three years ago we were paying $1.30 per gallon on average for gasoline throughout the United States. And everyone thought that was too high. Now, I long for the days of $1.75, as prices now fluctuate all to quickly for me. And it's not a steady increase, but more of drastic jump. One day you're paying $2.25 and the next you're paying $2.50.

At first, you stand at the pump like Fred Sanford and tell Elizabeth you're coming home, grasping your heart. Then, you pluck out your wallet, slip the nozzle home, and watch the click-click-click of numeral after numeral, spinning upward.

Sort of makes you long for the day of horse and buggy, doesn't it?

Ahh, but therein lies the conundrum. We, us Americans, loooooove our automobiles and I wouldn't hesitate to use the more Southern pronunciation, luuuuuuv. We luuuuuuv our automobiles. We luv our horsepower and our spacious vans and SUVs, where the kids can sit right behind you, giving at least two or three feet of space so they're not right up in your ear with their kicking and screaming. We luv our air-conditioner and CD players and our remote control windows and door locks, our big engines and bigger tires, and all the little signs and stickers we plaster to the rear windshield and bumper.

We luv our cars and we luv our trucks. We luv things that go.

Unfortunately, the things that go require costly petrol.

But I see a world without oil. One day at least. And it may not happen in my lifetime, (scientists disagree exactly how much of the world's oil remains untapped beneath the surface), but one thing's for certain: It won't last forever.

Wow. Imagine a world without oil.

And when we all can do that, maybe we'll start doing something about that price increase at the pump.

Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: