The price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate Crude is up $2.45. Since no one expects stability to happen in the MiddleEast any time soon, the price will likely continue to rise. Anticipate gasoline at your convenience store to be about five bucks a gallon, just in time for the summer travel season.
An undocumented experiment is taking place in America and it began before the radical spike in gas prices. It's the aging, like myself, going carless. Sure, you might joke that I don't have that right. After all, many of the over-50 tool around in their scooters from The Scooter Store. Actually here in Bella Vista there had been stern warnings to take it easy with the speed.
Scooters aside, more of us have made the decision not to get another car, at least not one we own. Just down the block and turn right is one of the those thrifty car rental services. For $35, and a reservation made before 5 P.M. the previous day, we get a car we can take out-of-state and for the price have 200 miles.
My decision not to invest in another car of my own came two years ago when my trusty Ford Escort was stolen. At first, I was simply dragging my feet about the ordeal of shopping for a new car. Then, I discovered that the mass transit system was top-notch. The tipping point in going carless was the extra time I had to come up with writing ideas as well as to observe God's Plenty. At bus stops I had developed the habit of interviewing anyone who doesn't flee.
On the elevator at Bella Vista one woman told me she took the leap into carless one winter when "It just got to be too much." A male resident who also works as a security guard here waited for his station wagon to die and that was that. He rents a car to vacation in Maine.
Will Generations X and Y join us Baby Boomers in letting the personal car go? They will if, as statistics are showing, they are moving back into the city. There, of course, you don't need a car.
If this keeps up, will gas stations start giving away drinking glasses again for a fill-up? And clean our windshields?
Yes, this is a trend to watch, from the bus, train, or plane.