The Great Gas-Out of 2004.

So have you gotten this email from every single person you know?

IT HAS BEEN CALCULATED THAT IF EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES DID NOT PURCHASE A DROP OF GASOLINE FOR ONE DAY AND ALL AT THE SAME TIME, THE OIL COMPANIES WOULD CHOKE ON THEIR STOCKPILES.

AT THE SAME TIME IT WOULD HIT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WITH A NET LOSS OF OVER 4.6 BILLION DOLLARS WHICH AFFECTS THE BOTTOM LINES OF THE OIL COMPANIES.

THEREFORE MAY 19TH HAS BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED “STICK IT UP THEIR BEHINDS DAY” AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION SHOULD NOT BUY A SINGLE DROP OF GASOLINE THAT DAY.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Taking a day to show those big mean oil companies how unhappy we are about gas prices? Yeah, well, you might want to read this first before you bother participating.

Hell, you should read it before another one of you people forward that stupid email to me. As I’ve explained dozens of times already it won’t make a damned bit of difference. I really wish people would check these emails out before they forward them to everyone they know. This one is so widespread that the local news channels are even talking about it like it’s worth considering.

The sad part is this isn’t the first time it’s been tried. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now because it’s based on a flawed premise. I really wish folks would check these stories out before forwarding them all over the damned place.

16 thoughts on “The Great Gas-Out of 2004.

  1. Very true, if you guys want to make a gesture then try following the example of the UK 2000 fuel blockades, we brought the petrol companies to their knees by blockading refineries and fuel stations on and off for two weeks or so.

    Actually it’s probably time to dust off the wax jackets and the banners again over here.

  2. One day won’t do anything to the oil companies. People will fill up a little later. It might effect the snack food business station operators. They are on such a thin margin from their gasoline sales, that they rely on the sale of sticky buns, potato chips, and cigarettes.

    I’m not sure about the current price, but about a month ago, after adjusting for inflation, the current pump price was still a bit shy of the 1974 all time high.

  3. As Les imlied - they oil companies know we won’t stop commuting to work or stop driving our cars to get groceries. Thats why it won’t work. Also, the people who don’t buy gas on that day will be doing it one day ahead or afterward = spikes in sales.

    The only way these boycotts can have any effect if they are targeted at non-essentials, or if they are limited to a single company - with others taking on the slack. They DID force BP to not scuttle the ‘Brent Spar’ drilling platform, after all…

  4. Yeah, I got that stupid email from a bunch of people, including people I ask not to send me stuff like that.

    “A practical 30-miles-to-the-gallon car is still 10 years away, technologically.”- Henry Ford II, in a 1973 television interview

    While I watched that interview, we had a 1968 Fiat 124g 4-door in our driveway that got about 35mpg highway and 28mpg city.  It was roomy (my dad was 6’2”), had an enormous trunk and 4-wheel disc brakes, and handled great.  We ended up keeping it for 14 years.

    Ford had just introduced the “Pinto,” a miserable little piece of crap you could barely squeeze into that got 25mpg on the highway when it was running well… which wasn’t often.  Chevvy was just about to introduce the “Vega,” one of the 10-worst cars of all time.

    We had gas rationing back then, with the predictable shortages.  I remember people lining up their cars on odd/even days depending on their license plate numbers to buy 10 gallons of gas, which had reached the shocking price of 45 cents per gallon.  There were rumors it would break 50 cents before summer.

    Adjusted for inflation, that’s about what we pay for gas now, maybe slightly less.  Except now gas is all lead-free and has oxygenators that reduce pollution.

    One of our graduate assistants is from Turkey, where gas is $4.50/gallon.  He drives everywhere as fast as the car will go, because he can’t believe how cheap gas is here.

    If they want to send the oil companies a message, they could start factoring gas mileage into their car-buying decisions instead of sending out zillions of idiot emails.

  5. Gawd give me strength… I have a very large family, many with email addresses that end “@aol.com” so not only do I get every flippin’ email that Snopes has listed as utter bullshit, I get them multiple times.  Grrrr.  No matter how much I beg, cajole and threaten, certain family members just can’t seem to resist the call to deluge the email boxes of friends and family.  I even have a special signature with links to Snopes and UrbanLegends.com and instructions to “check them before you forward ANYTHING,” to no avail.

    If they want to send the oil companies a message, they could start factoring gas mileage into their car-buying decisions instead of sending out zillions of idiot emails.

    And give up their SUVs?  Perish the thought!

  6. Serai: I’m no longer sure that the American public has the tenacity to pull off that kind of boycott. We’ve become too spoiled, lazy, and gullible to have an activist bone in our body politic.

  7. … a reminder that protest schemes that don’t cost the the participants any inconvenience, hardship, or money remain the most popular, despite their dubious effectiveness.

    Says it all, really.

  8. I work with a passel of gullible dimwits, so I’ve gotten that email about 45826483446 times. I always reply with the snopes link.

  9. Gawd give me strength… I have a very large family, many with email addresses that end “@aol.com” so not only do I get every flippin’ email that Snopes has listed as utter bullshit, I get them multiple times…Got to quit eating popcorn at the computer - almost choked from laughing my ass off!  Is there a “negative intelligence test” you have to pass before installing AOL?  I never really looked at what’s on those CD’s.

  10. You know what I hate most nowadays??  Those commercials for those fucking “hemi-powered” trucks.  Because back in the 60’s and 70’s, we HAD hemi’s - but then the GAS CRISIS happened.  So what are we doing now?

    We’re re-introducing old, overrated technology to boost profits at the expense of gas mileage!  They’ve got this testosterone-pumped ad campaign geared towards stupid people who don’t even know what the fuck a HEMI is (and for all those who don’t, I don’t blame ya, my dad had to explain it to me *sucks thumb*).  It’s just a modification to the piston heads that make them spherical (or half “hemispherically” shaped), which supposedly gives a larger contact area for the cumbustion, therefore more effectively catching the force of the explosion.  The problem is it uses more fuel for the same cycle, which produces more low-end torque but in the long run doesn’t really make a huge-ass difference, and in the mean time eats gas.

    So here we are, with gas prices through the fucking roof showing no signs of abating, and we’re purposely making engines with LESS gas mileage.

    This is why people are under the false impression that all Americans are materialistic and stupid.  We should really consider taking action to change that.

  11. gah!  I guess everyone must have missed the notice.  there was a 10 minute long line at the gas stations today in my town.

    The prices dropped to 1.88 for regular.  down from 2.04 they were monday.  Everyone was filling up so I did too! 

  12. [Quote]Gawd give me strength… I have a very large family, many with email addresses that end “@aol.com” so not only do I get every flippin’ email that Snopes has listed as utter bullshit, I get them multiple times. Grrrr.[/Quote]
    I feel your pain.  I was getting this one so often that I finally typed up a canned reply and set up an email rule to disparage the crowd.  The thing that is most irritating though is how the vast majority accept emails such as this at face value.

    Everybody bitches but few do anything of real value.  For health reasons I started doing a lot more walking and biking about four years ago.  Now my car is almost 5 years old and only has 20K miles.  Looking back, I can’t see how I used to drive 12K - 15K a year.  It’s more expensive walking to the small grocer nearby but no gas involved and I get to know my neighbors.

    Even if a well planned boycott were to take place and was successful, it would only provide a tempory solution to a long term problem.

  13. DOF:

    Got to quit eating popcorn at the computer - almost choked from laughing my ass off! Is there a “negative intelligence test” you have to pass before installing AOL? I never really looked at what’s on those CD’s.

    Pretty much anyone with an IQ over 80 and the tiniest bit of web savvy only uses AOL if they’re forced to for some reason. It’s fine for people like my 70-year-old mother, but that’s about it!

    Back in 2001 when AOL & TimeWarner merged, some fucktard executive (how redundant!) way up high mandated AOL as the official corporate email app for everyone in the “family” of companies.  I thought there was going to be a mutinous bloodbath at our shop!  Here are some of the brightest minds in IT and web technology, many of whom don’t even run their workstations on Windows, having to use an email application - for corporate business - that was built for halfwit consumers who are incompetent to traverse the Information Superhighway without training wheels.  What a clusterfuck!  And the calendar feature, whatever it was supposed to be, NEVER worked, in spite of a year’s worth of promises that its implementation was just around the corner.  Ha!

    Everyone complained for an entire year before the dim bulbs in Corporate finally admitted that AOL sucks as a corporate mail app, and we were told to go back to using Outlook.  For another year many of us were forced to keep opening AOL whenever we needed to refer back to email we’d received during the “dark days,” because of course there was no way to export a year’s worth of email that resided in the “File Cabinet” in AO-Hell.

    Nowadays, the ONLY time any of us opens AOL is to test the compatibility of a site or newsletter we’re launching, and even then the bad memories of our year in chains causes some of us to have waking terrors until we hear that familiar “Goodbye.”  I think the corporation ought to pay for treatment of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder many of us suffer to this day! 😀

    Sorry so off-topic, but AOL’s one of those things that remains stuck in my craw and I’m compelled to bitch about now and again.  Like forwarded bullshit emails…

  14. Just read an article on 9 ways to cut your gas bill on msnbc.com.

    One tip basically says not to use the a/c and don’t roll the windows down.  Rolling the windows down creates drag that decreases your gas mileage.

    That’s a literal death sentence on a Texas interstate in heavy traffic.  It’s damn hot riding down the interstate on an August afternoon even on a motorcycle.  I have no desire to try it in my car, certainly not with my kid with me. 

    I’d take my bike more, but it’s kinda hard when you have to tote a toddler around.

  15. No a/c with the windows rolled up?  Wow!  I guess you would save a lot of gas, because you wouldn’t drive much after dropping dead from heat.  Does anyone at MSNBC actually drive a car?  Or do they just make shit up?

    I save gas by driving the speed limit, which wouldn’t make any difference at all except there’s more space in front of my car, so I can see farther ahead.  Which lets me time the traffic lights so I brake a lot less. 

    Ideally, have the brakes removed from your car. Brakes just waste momentum you paid for at the gas pump, as heat.

  16. Ideally, have the brakes removed from your car. Brakes just waste momentum you paid for at the gas pump, as heat.

    Yeah, they’ll only slow you down.

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