life so much easier that way. I've become quite the homebody.
I keep looking at my poor old car and wondering what to do about it. I'm still making car payments and insurance payments on a lump of dead metal. Not one person has called about it. No surprise there, I guess. I keep watching the TV news, and it just keeps getting worse. Domestic manufacturing--what there was of it--is slowly shutting down for lack of fuel. The people being laid off are losing their cars and homes since they can't keep making the payments. There's rumor of work out in the country, but who wants to be farm labor? What's cotton picking pay, anyway?
Scary stuff today: Lay offs at work. I dodged the bullet, but some of my friends are history. What will they do? Move out of town and work on a farm? HA! They wouldn't know which end of a horse to milk. No offers on the car, but someone did try to buy my bike today as I rode in to work. I think they really wanted me to stop so they could steal it. Very disturbing. I'm keeping the pepper spray close at hand from now on.
A good day off! A friend came over last night and fixed the broken fuel line in the car. (A free dinner works wonders.) I scrounged a gallon of gas from a neighbor's lawn mower can this morning (and made them take money for it). Drove the car out to the dealer and sold it back to them. Got enough to cover the outstanding car loan and a cab ride home, plus a little extra. (My New Bicycle Fund?) I was lucky. I'm starting to see abandoned cars all over town. The city can't tow them all--where would they put them? I am now officially Car Free--for the first time since my 16th birthday. It feels odd, but I think it feels good. So far.
With all it took to sell the car yesterday, I'm doing my grocery shopping today. And I see now where the new employment opportunities lie: Armed security. They actually had them in the grocery store! (Apparently there had been some unpleasantness.) They still had food, but I have to tell you: there were some blank spots on those shelves. The produce was mighty skimpy, as was the meat selection, and there was almost no milk. What am I going to put on my cereal in the morning? May have to switch to toast. Oh, the sacrifices we make. The good news: Between the bicycling, walking, and this new (forced) diet, I am now officially in shape! Still, armed guards in the grocery store?
It's been over a month now since it all hit the fan, I'm starting to see some benefits to all of my hard work and sacrifice: Fewer people are managing to make it in to work at their regular times--or at all. I'm one of the lucky ones, which means I get to stay. Even my boss has been asking about my bicycling. Instant Expert, that's me! (And to think I almost sold the thing to make room. Whew. Lucky me.) I am seeing more bikes out on the road these days--and in the office, too. I'm such a trendy trend setter!
I no longer wonder where those stupid oil tankers are. They can sink for all I care (and take the Saudis down with them). I'm not going to see any of that oil, nor do I need it. The price of gas keeps going up--on beyond Zebra, so to speak. Who can afford to fill up their gas tank? The lines are still long at the gas station, and more people are going armed. (!!!) I've got my pepper spray, but I have yet to really use it. Got a call from my parents in Florida last night. They're laughing about the whole thing. Apparently they just drive their electric golf cart everywhere they need to go. Now why didn't I think of that? Oh, yeah: I don't have an electric golf cart. Very funny, Mom.
The car dealers are just barely hanging on--selling only the smallest cars they have and giving just about zip for any larger trade-in. The real money makers right now are real estate agents--putting people in houses closer to work! (Whooda thunk it?) It's like a giant shell game all over town, with everyone trying