The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Columns

April 18, 2008

Road warrior or just plain <i>not</i> prepared?

Kinnamon's Toast

“Proper preparation prevents (blank) poor performance.”

The 6 P’s, they’re called.

I thought I learned how to practice them when I was in the Army, but apparently the notion didn’t stick.

On Wednesday morning, on my way to the newspaper office, my 1997 Ford Taurus ran out of gas about a half-mile north of the Chisholm schools’ marker on Oklahoma 45. (I had been headed southbound on U.S. 81.)

The young trooper from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol who stopped to help me merits a well-earned toast today. This young man looked fresh out of the highway patrol academy. His noble appearance inspired immediate confidence; the trooper appeared similar to an Army Ranger: crew cut, perfectly creased uniform, perfect shine to his footwear and zero body fat.

Unfortunately, highway patrol troopers do not carry extra gasoline in their patrol vehicles nor do they carry siphoning hoses, as they used to do, the trooper said.

So off he drove, south on U.S. 81, leaving me impressed with the caliber of young people the patrol hires these days but completely empty-handed relative to gasoline.

If President George W. Bush doesn’t coax, cajole or con his good Arab buddies —he and Daddy Bush’s best friends — into lowering the price of oil per barrel soon, I fear the U.S. may begin to take on the manners and appearances of a “Mad Max” movie, starring not Mel Gibson but Joe T. Citizen (T. standing for “Typical”) of the U.S.

Americans soon might begin to shoot, steal and plunder gasoline from one another in wicked scenes seemingly culled directly from the scripts of “Mad Max,” “Road Warrior” and “Beyond Thunderdome.” For example, a perfectly genteel, law-abiding and respectable middle-aged man in a starched white shirt and gray flannel suit might soon find himself detouring from his normal route to the office and bee-lining to Barter Town in order to trade treasured family possessions for “petrol,” as the Aussies call gasoline.

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