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: Pass Gas With Leon  ( 1742 )
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« : August 19, 2005, 12:53:10 PM »

  First thing’s first: This is no joke. It’ll sound like one. But it’s not.

    This week, we will start a movement. Yes – “we.” As in “you” and “me” and anyone else we can get on board. And as any good movement should, this one has a name: “Pass Gas with Leon.”

    Yes. I know. I told you this would sound like a joke. But I couldn’t be more serious. Like my good ol’ Uncle Turk says, “I may laugh and joke, but I don’t fool around.”

    Here’s what I propose: On Oct. 1 and 2 – a Saturday and Sunday, respectively – we will not buy any gasoline. You got it – no gas. At all. Right here, right now, I am calling for a two-day gas boycott. And I want YOU and everyone YOU know and everyone THEY know to join me.

    “Yeah. Right,” you say. “What are we gonna do? Walk?”

    No. Use your car that weekend. That’s fine. But fill it beforehand. Or walk. Bike. Run. Carpool. Sail. Fly. Whatever. Just don’t … buy … any … gas.


    If you’ve filled your tank recently, the answer is obvious.

    By the time you read this sentence, gas prices will still be soaring past their record-high $2.56 per gallon nationwide – a 29 percent increase over last year. Some places are already seeing $3 a gallon, which is the amount you, me and other consumers can expect to pay this fall.

    Overnight, we’ve all watched helplessly as gas prices have skyrocketed by 4, 6, even 9 cents per gallon. Admittedly, I’m no expert on the oil industry, but – call it a hunch – something tells me we’re paying nearly a nickel more today for the same gas that was underground yesterday. That means someone is gettin’ real rich on us – real fast.

    And quite frankly, I’m fed up with paying half the price of my movie ticket to get to the movie. How about you?

    I thought so.

    Hence our movement.

    “Sure,” you say. “I know about these so-called ‘movements.’ They never get anywhere. They start with good intentions, but nothing happens. And then there’s nothing to show for it. So why bother?”

    That, my friend, is because no one in those movements moves. Those are STILLments.

    I want to start a MOVEment, and I want your help.

    Yes, I completely understand that a two-day gas boycott that originates in small-town Vermont will not likely cause gas prices to instantly drop by a buck from here to San Francisco. My reality bone is thicker than that.

    But if one woman could make history by refusing to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Ala., nearly 50 years ago, we can send a strong message with our refusal to pay at the pump for a weekend.

    This is where you come in. And everyone you know.

    Your job? And theirs?

    Just pass the word. That’s all I ask. Write letters. Zap e-mails. Make phone calls. Send smoke signals. Go to the Messenger Web site (www.samessenger.com), e-mail this column to everyone you know, have them do the same, and so on. All you and everyone else must do is contact me at the postal or e-mail addresses below and say, “I want to pass gas with Leon!” That’s it – “I want to pass gas with Leon!” Then, don’t buy gas on Oct. 1 and 2. (If you want, call me at (802) 524-9771, ext. 112, to let me know you’re in. Leave a message.)

    One thing: When you do write or call, provide your name and town of residence, and share some of your pricy experiences at the pump for future columns; I’ll use those to keep the momentum up over the next month. (I won’t use your name in print without permission, but please provide it in your message, along with contact information. Thanks!)

    Keeping you abreast of the movement (and keeping it alive) will be my job – that, and measuring its impact afterward, whatever it may be.

    So join me. Please. On Oct. 1 and 2, “Pass Gas with Leon.” For two days, we can prevent THEM from getting a bit richer.

    They may laugh. They may joke. But they’ll see we’re not fooling around.
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Leon Thompson’s column appears Friday. Reach him at the St. Albans Messenger, PO Box 1250, St. Albans, Vt. 05478 or leon@samessenger.com.

Henry Raymond
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