Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Petroed Off

Last night I was at Ph.'s soccer match. They play in a park several miles from where we live. Was going to be a match between N'ham and Westhill, but there was as scheduling screw up, so N'ham played Westhill for a half, then Westill played Fowler for a half, then Fowler played N'ham for a half, round robin style and also precious-time-wasteful style. I was irritated because N'ham just played Fowler on Wednesday night with yours truly as the unsuspecting surrogate coach and the match between the two was the notoriously chippy clash everyone knew it would be. It ended prematurely, called due to an outbreak of shin-kicking and resulting kerfluffles, scuffles, and back shuffles. "We're done!," declared the field judge.

So I didn't see any reason that the two clubs should be back at it just five days later, especially when it wasn't scheduled to be that way. I did my best to zen out on the sideline, chase down the mosquitoes sneaking off with bellies blimped round with my blood, etc.

One thing I noticed was an exchange between a high school student and an older, grandfatherly man. No telling whether they were related; maybe they were. But the older man snarled at the kid about leaving his car running. Something like, "What is your car running for? You should shut that thing off!" He was fired up. The kid obliged the elder's request, and as the younger walked to the parking lot, the older continued to vocalize his rant about gas prices, wastefulness, and gas prices. He even made his hand into a tight fist as he spoke. Memorable, that.

Then, on my walk to campus this morning--to campus so I could open shop in the Writing Center from 10 until 2--I was thinking about the intensity of the older man's reaction. He was really keyed up, fierce looking. Maybe this is the latest "rage"--petro rage--the sense of anger, frustration, and deep disgust someone experiences when they see another who seems to be wasting fuel. Is this the new road rage? The new cell...["Pump Up the Jams" ring tones]...hold on, I've got a call.

Nothing much. You?
Writing a blog entry.
Yeah, I heard. I don't know what they see in Kwame Brown.
I'll check in tomorrow.
Yep, later. You too.

Where was I? Cell phone rage. Will folks develop a new rage toward those they perceive to be extravagant with gasoline?

When I walked closer to my building, I saw one member of a lawn crew "sweeping" the sidewalk with one of those gas-powered blowers. Whirring along, pointing it to the left and then to the right, the sort of slow dance for which grass clippings enthusiastically clear a pathway. Only, there were none. The sidewalk was clean, as far as I could tell (I didn't bend down to check it more closely). But it seemed unnecessary, wasteful. I was somewhat relieved the fella from last night was nowhere in sight.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at July 29, 2008 11:25 PM to Slouching Toward