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By Robert Rapier on May 5, 2008 with no responses

Stranger Than Fiction

After 24 hours of traveling, including a cancelled flight, lost luggage, and a passenger’s medical emergency that almost forced us to land in Greenland, I am back in the Netherlands. I almost never check luggage, and I got a very valuable reminder why today: United Airlines has no idea where my luggage is. Thanks, guys – especially for asking me to stand in a line behind 400 people after you cancelled a pair of full flights in quick succession. As I overheard one lady ask, “How can you call it customer service if you can’t service your customers?” But I digress…

Had the following been in the plot of James Kunstler’s recent book, World Made by Hand (reviewed here), I would have dismissed it as absurb. Yet here it is, a story that is uniquely American:

Tired of paying through the nose, Americans try praying at the pump

“Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas prices,” Twyman said to a chorus of “amens”.

“Prayer is the answer to every problem in life… We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high,” Twyman said on the gas station forecourt in a neighborhood of Washington that, like many of its residents, has seen better days

At the Shell station, Twyman had dire words of warning for those who are raking in profits from high gas prices. “Woe be unto those people that are really greedy and taking advantage of American families,” he proclaimed from his pump pulpit.

“These prices will come down, just like the walls of Jericho came down in the Bible,” he said, as another chorus of amens punctuated the sound of cash flowing out of the gas pumps.

Something tells me that these people would have struggled mightily in an Old Testament setting, where Job was losing everything he had in a test of character, and plagues of locusts were regularly descending on the crops. No, these pansies are praying for God to “intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high.” How about praying for the strength to restructure your life in the face of higher gas prices? How about praying for the strength to reduce your energy usage? No, easier to smite the “enemy” who is causing you to pay $4 a gallon, about 50% of what gas costs in the Netherlands.

Check out the story. Judy Dugan from the Oil Watchdog crew even makes an appearance. It would be a funny story, except it’s true. That makes it pretty sad.