By Allen Hamrick
Well folks, Lew here to tell ya about troubled times on the ridge. The price of everything from fishin’ supplies to huntin’ supplies and all the nonessentials like food and water are stretching the ol’ sawbuck like a politicker does the truth. Most of us on the ridge have taken to new ways to get from point A to point B without the use of gasoline. Those ol’ rusty bike-a-cycles have been taken out of the barns and given new life. We used to ride when them when we were kids, so how hard could it be? We freshened ‘em up a little with a touch of oil and a little spit shine. There never was brakes or chains on ‘em when we used to ride, so, again, how hard could it be? We would simply start at the top of a hill and let er’ go then push it back up at the end of the ride.
There has been a rush at the horsepitol ER’s for busted limbs ever since Pap went through a barbwar fence and nearly cut his head off and would have if he hadn’t pulled the posts out of the ground. Seein’ as Zeb is so big, the strain on his already dry rotted tires was too much for the ol’ red flyer, and they blew out first time over the hill sendin’ Zeb cartwheelin’ and tearin’ everything down in his path. By the time he stopped spinnin’ he took out two chicken houses, an acre of corn and Granny Izzle’s clothes line full of her daily wash. Several others took the plunge over the hill and fared in the same manner. Others who did make it couldn’t push it back up the hill for a second run. If parts were available, they would be as hard to get as green onions in January and three times higher. People are buckling down though and pinchin’ coins a little tighter than normal. Granny Izzle has been working on an alternative to a gallon of gas but hasn’t got the right mixture yet. Not sure what the ingredients are, but she plans on saving the country with her new elixir for motors she calls Pep-n-Poo. So far she has blown up three trucks, five lawnmowers, two weed eaters and a boat motor. She assured me that my boat motor would run great when she was done, but now it’s scattered all over the hillside. She will get it right; we are sure of that.
Our food supply has gotten a little thin in our cupboards, so most people have introduced themselves to being hunters and gatherers. That’s a problem round here cause those who knew the right weeds to eat are already pushin’ up daises, so we are left to trial and error, mostly errors. So, some decided to follow the animals and see what they were eating and scarf up what was left, but greed took over and there ain’t a nut, mushroom or blade of grass that the gatherers didn’t pick. Being the self proclaimed Daniel Boone of the hills, Pap went and picked a bunch of wild red berries and mixed them with plants he knew would make a great tasting wild salsa. He made plenty for all statin’ that it was more healthy than what they could get down at the local grocery. He was right, but the only ones that could eat it were snakes and lizards. That salsa nearly caused a panic as those who partook of the mixture were knocking the doors off the outhouses. Granny Dingle was providin’ eggs for the community as her 35 head of chickens were working overtime keeping up with demand. She woke up one day to turn them out and only counted 30 chickens; the eagles had landed and took their fill of chicken meat. Her rooster named Rambo was wounded in the leg tryin’ to defend his hen brood and was lickin’ his wounds when Granny found him. So Granny mends Rambo and teaches him how to play dead when the eagles circled. Everybody knows that an eagle likes to kill what it eats and won’t eat anything already dead. Rambo, in turn, teaches his hen brood to play dead so every day the hens would go in the yard roll over on their backs and point their claws to the sky. It worked! The eagles left the hens alone for awhile, but the hens kept up the masquerade. One day they went out and saw the eagles circling again to their surprise, so on their backs they went. Problem was chickens are nearsighted and started playing dead to a bunch of buzzards, now Granny only counts 11 hens one wounded rooster. Anyway folks, if ya have chickens, don’t teach them to play dead or yer egg supply will suffer. Well, folks my pen is nearly out of ink for this time and ink is hard to come by so keep a tight line in the water, yer sights sharp, yer survival skills even sharper and, above all, help those who can’t help themselves. LEW
Common sense has left the building
By Allen Hamrick
Like the old song goes: “There’s a shortage on beans and there’s a shortage on meat; things that we are needing we just can’t hardly bu. Soon we will be asking if we are all gonna die…There’s a shortage on fuel oil, there’s a shortage on gas; there’s a shortage on wood and there’s a shortage on glass. Things that we have wasted are now precious to buy; you know there’s even a shortage on the air in the sky.” -The Imperials
Are there truly shortages or is it what we are led to believe? From where I sit, there is no shortage of wood yet the prices continue to rise. Mills are full of timber and continue to cut every day, yet the price of building materials is higher than ever. At one time, it was blamed on the pandemic and a worker shortage, yet plywood and wood still hit the stores on time. They say its supply and demand; short supply and big demand, but how could it be? A common working family can’t afford to build a set of steps to their bathtub without cutting back on food. Common sense says that demand with a shortage of materials equals high cost because of the lack of materials; however, demand with no shortage of materials should equal fair pricing.
Now it’s the 2022 “gasdemic” that’s blamed for all the problems. My question is this – Is there truly a shortage of gasoline? What kind of vaccine or stimulus package will it take to get us out of this disease? Is it really the war between Russia and the Ukraine that is driving everything up as they would lead you to believe? If so, why did everything start going up way before their war? These are questions that are not hard to answer, yet politics make it a very complicated subject due to a lack of empathy for the American people. Here is the common sense truth – every individual that still has the ability to think for themselves looks at the political theatre as a stage, a stage full of millionaires who use their position to benefit themselves or those that fuel their passion for money and power. We have elected officials who we, the people, put in power to make good decisions that benefit all people. They are to attend to this country’s need for food, water, a supply of energy and to make fair laws so that the future generations that follow will have the same opportunities for success. All other opinions on many subjects play second fiddle to survival of this country. We must survive, and to do so requires everybody to understand the fundamental principles of survival from the politician to the mom and dad to the individual. We must have hope, and we must have dreams and the ability to accomplish them. Without these, we die as a nation and so does the future for our children. We work and pay taxes so that the bodies of the government can use the funds to help make sure that there is a country for future generations. When that money is misused over time and those that are elected spend it on their own personal agendas or either party use it to benefit their own ideals instead of the survival of the country, we will die. This country is first; fix our troubles and then help other countries.
Gas is one of those energies that help keep this country moving. Diesel is a byproduct of the process of making gas that, in a bigger way than gas, keeps the supplies of food and materials flowing. Both of these products are controlled by the super rich companies that hold the very life of a country in their grasp. Oil and gas companies have made profits in the billions in the last quarter; there is no shortage of oil or gas, otherwise how could their profits be in the billions? The shortage of oil is that these companies are just not producing as much and therefore make huge profits while crippling the world with high gas and diesel prices. Pipelines have been shut down, and the cost of leasing land to produce our own oil in our own country has so much governmental red tape that companies simply can’t afford to get the oil out of the ground. Therefore, political policies in this country have crippled the United States ability to produce its own oil. Where does that make any sense? Look these facts up, they are common knowledge. The fact is there is enough oil within the U.S.A to provide fuel for centuries, and without it, the cost of everything will go up and up. Companies will shut down, and people will no longer be able to wake up, go to work, raise a family and be free from dependency on anybody else.
Who will all this affect? Not those in power who are set for life thanks to the American taxpayer. So what is the answer? Common sense dictates that there is a simple answer to all the problems- set aside differences on policy and ideals and realize that if prices continue to rise, it will rain on everybody: the rich, the blue collar worker and the poor. It will eventually drive this country into a downward spiral of inflation and high gas prices that doesn’t end. Where will the taxes come to pay for programs if business shuts down, if the work force can no longer get to work? It will be utter chaos. Some scream buy electric cars instead of gas, but if you pay as much for a car as you do your home, something is wrong. What if in the White House, Congress and Senate all millionaire life-long politicians were replaced with common folks who cared more for the country than the dollar bill. If this doesn’t get fixed and soon, like Lynard Skynard said in a song, “Life as we know it could be gone in a minute.” A person doesn’t make stupid decisions unless there is a force behind it.