Sunday, December 10, 2006

Young guys teaching
Old guys teaching
Young guys
new tricksThis will only make sense if you have read or first read yesterday's post and Alex's response

Alex, you are right, and I would never question your business knowledge, your temporal calculations and your ability to do a sweep roll. Having said that, I have referred your reply to the Dean of the Wharton School of Business, and he has replied as follows:

Dear Silbs, thank you for your letter. As you know, I am a huge fan of your blog, Silbs Says, and welcome the opportunity to participate in it. Your young friend, Alex (who you tell me is a fine fellow and is very talented and bright...but, Silbs, I digress) is, of course correct in what he has calculated and written. But, alas, his lack of experience shows through.

To be sure, based on time and price only, gas is relatively cheap compared to the wonderful times you referred to in your posting. There is, however, more to it, not the least of which is the fact that young people sometimes fail to appreciate the warmth and joy of a well written nostalgia piece such as yours.

Still, there is more to it than just bringing the price of the fuel into 2006 prices. There is the cost of labor. Alex, presuming he gives a rat's patoot about his vehicle, must get out of the car, check his own oil and check all four tires plus the spare for air pressure. This time must be accounted for based on today's minimum wage. Then there is the very act of getting in and out of the car and the wear and tear it puts on the seat covers and the door hinges. In a similar way, Alex needs to prorate the cost of his clothes (including shoes) during these tasks since they are now part of the cost of obtaining gas.

Harder to assess, but just as important, is the mental stress, the weakening of the immune system and any resulting medical expenses (compare those prices to 1950 my little Inuit Wannabee).

Then, there is the incalculable loss of time from thinking about his work while sitting in the car and letting someone else do the mundane labor.

Last, and not least, is the cost of a map these days,, a map that would have been free. I won't pile on the free glass you often could have gotten back then since this already brings the current price of gas up to a real cost of $23.42 per gallon.

Thanks again, Silbs, for letting me join you in battle...etc, etc.

Paddle safe..


Alex said...

Lol, funny stuff. :) Thanks for the laugh Dick and give my regards to the dean of Wharton.

JohnB said...

The dean is correct, but as most academicians do the dean left out a couple of vital points that should be considered here.

1. The increased risk of ill health faced by pumping one’s own gas. You’ve got the exposure to the weather—standing in the wind, cold, rain, sleet, and/or snow is not necessarily the healthiest of things to do, when we can have someone else do it for us, someone whose job it is and is dressed for the “elements”.
2. The people employed as service station attendants lost their jobs—pumping our gas, etc. That was their “rice bowl”. The elimination of those positions certainly put a strain on the economy.
3. Pumping our own gas has raised our risk of getting cancer from the inhalation of the fumes that escape during the flow of that magic liquid—now everyone who pumps gas is at risk, whereas back in the “old days” only those who serviced our vehicles while we sat on our butt inside the car wondering if it was going to cost more than $5.oo to “filler-up” breathed those toxins.
4. And, we cant’ dismiss the exposure to the germs left behind by all those that have touched the pump-handle before us, not to mention the windshield cleaner handle! A few of us wear protective gloves (those disposable medical exam ones, I like the purple ones) while pumping our own gas, but I bet not many do!
5. Then, there is the added cost today necessitated by having to move beyond the spacious interior of those four-wheeled vehicles of yesteryear for our extracurricular activities (if you know what I mean?). (And, you thought the boomers fell in love with the mini-van because it was more practical for hauling around the kids and their friends to soccer practice—yea, right!)

I suppose that the list could go on, but I’ve forgotten what the point was . . .

One final tip—buy stock in “Med-line” (or any manufacture of those gloves mentioned above in #4). Just think about the market demand once this is read by all of America, and the world for that matter. Every car owner is going to rush out and buy a box of gloves to keep on the seat/between the seats—they are going to say, “WOW!, that seakayakerjb guy is really on to something!!!”

Silbs said...

I rest my case. And, thanks, JB, that was longer than one ofyour blogs.

Alex said...

The purple Safeskin nitrile gloves are made by my former company (Kimberly-Clark). Their stock is stable but nothing you'll get rich from.