Only gas that is increasing in the area is hot air

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 26, 2005

That's it. I'm now convinced. The world IS coming to an end soon and the proof is no further than the mystery gas stations in the area selling $5 per gallon gas.

What you don't believe me?

You didn't pay $5 per gallon yesterday? Well, I didn't either, I paid much less than $3 per gallon, but that's not the point. The point is "they" said it was going to happen and "they" are never wrong.

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Last week, thousands of residents in the area and across the country began panicking about the price of gas. One local newspaper reported a story that was mostly rumors and hearsay from people who had "heard" gas was $4.25 per gallon in Ironton and headed to $5 per gallon the next day.

"You'd better get fueled up," one person warned last week. "Gas is going up and there may not be any left in a couple of days."

The national media that pounds the worst-case scenarios in our heads almost constantly fuels much of this gasoline gossip.

Before Hurricane Rita had even come within a few hundred miles of landfall, the national scary talking heads had predicted grave results to the nation's petroleum infrastructure.

The oily sky was falling and it was going to fall right on top of your life, at least that was their message.

And they may have been correct if the storm had done what we predicted.

But then again, world peace might suddenly emerge tomorrow, too.

Dogs and cats might start living together peacefully.

Coke and Pepsi might merge to make a wonderfully sweet liquid loved by everyone called Pepoke.

The proverbial Sunday afternoon light beer debate of "great taste" versus "less filling" might just dissolve away when both sides realize that they're both correct.

OK, so those are a little facetious.

But the fact is that worrying about something you have absolutely no control over does absolutely no good.

Can I figure out a way to magically refine Ohio River water into gasoline in my garage? Probably not.

Can I invent an internal combustion engine that runs on Ohio River water and discarded tree leaves? Not likely, either.

And does filling up my tank out of pure fear help anyone or anything? Not a bit.

In fact, as millions of people have changed their gas-filling habits - constantly keeping a full tank instead of riding on fumes like usual - they may be unwittingly causing the very shortages they fear. Come to think of it, that in itself is a good sign the world is coming to an end, regardless of the cost of gas.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached by calling (740) 532-1441 ext. 12 or by e-mail to