Thursday, April 10, 2008

The changing face (and necks) of America.

Gas pump circa the 1950's. (Note "This Sale" has
room for only three digits
making it difficult to
pump more than $9.99 into one's tank in one stop.)

It's worthy to note in the 1950's when the above gas pumps were in use, rheumatoid arthritis and serious debilitating neck injuries were insignificant to the point of non-newsworthiness.

Former El Paso mortgage banker at his new job.

Above is a sign of current gas prices locally (El Paso, TX) this week. Note: Until early this year scientists were at a loss to explain the sudden surge in the number of cases of painful rheumatoid arthritis, which can severely affect various body joints to also include the vertabrae of the neck (known as swan neck deformity) being reported by people employed to change the price of gasoline on signs across the country.

Particularly worthy of note is the swan neck deformity. It hasn't been confined solely to the sign changers population. Many Americans now cutting back on vacation plans (and eating) are also complaining of a kind of sympathetic 'pain in the neck.'

Scientists in late January, however, began to suspect a connection between the sudden spike in the number of new arthritis cases being reported by doctors and the ever changing prices of gasoline.

After serious investigation to determine if in fact there was any direct link, it appears there is! And it arises in those on the front lines of rising gas prices - the 7-11, Circle K, Jiffy Mart etc. gas price sign changers who are suddenly suffering the direct effects of rapidly changing gas prices!

Many of those most dramatically affected have been reassigned desk jobs or taken disability driven early retirements. I took a few minutes after my last fill-up at a Diamond Shamrock to visit with its manager.

I asked if she was concerned with the dwindling supply of sign changers to reflect dramatic rise in prices. She answered firmly without hesitation a resounding, "No!"

While suspecting many such outlets as her own will be employing 3 shifts 'round the clock to keep up with them, she assured me the weeding out of the arithritics would not be a problem.

"I figure there'll be lots and lots of unemployed truckers, homeless former middle class Americans and Bear Stearns investment analysts looking for work."


eProf2 said...

Nice tongue in cheek post, or is that tongue in the back of the throat looking up? The gas situation is certainly looking grim not only for transportation but for almost every sector of the economy -- can't finish this comment as the electricity generated from natural gas is about to go off.....

Fran said...

Gas here is $3.50 +, and has been for a while.
One gas station apparently suffered too much with this syndrome & installed an electronic digital price sign, that way they can punch those numbers up without all that stress & strain.

D.K. Raed said...

I've pretty much given up looking at the gas prices, so thought my neck was safe ... until some wiseass dropped the dollar column off their displayed prices on April 1st ... yes, April Fools! hahahah, turns out the dollar amount was there, a very tiny "3" that you REALLY had to crane your neck & strain your eyeballs to see. For a brief second, I thought we'd be paying 45-cents/gallon!

I see your gas is about 10-cents cheaper than ours. an advantage of being closer to the refineries?

wow, that old pump could only go up to 9.99? The way it's going, that will soon buy one gallon!