New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has shelved his plan to allow self-serve gasoline pumps, saying Tuesday that while he believes it could reduce gas costs, the idea isn't worth the fight against overwhelming opposition. Corzine said he had received some 1,400 e-mails to his office on the self-serve proposal. By comparison, his plan to increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent has drawn only 200 e-mails. Corzine said the self-service plan was just an "idea" that he wanted to see tested in a pilot program. He said it would save drivers $5 for every 100 gallons of gasoline.
Obviously, since it was a hairbrained scheme, it is now labeled merely an "idea". If it was more popular, it would have been a "great idea". I understand that, unless you are reading this in Oregon, you have no idea the level of angst that was created here in the Garden State. Gasoline is a product that is best served by others. We're a fat, bloated country of convenience, and pumping our own gas is in direct contrast to all we hold dear.
We want to sit in our car for the maximum amount of time. Whether it is gasoline, the bank, fast food, drug stores or (in the great state of Ohio) liquor stores. We will even spin around the mall parking lot in increasingly larger circles in search of the ultimate parking space, when it would have been faster to park in the first one we see and waddle our fat asses to the food court. God forbid we walk an extra ten feet. If you're one of those vultures that stalks me as I walk out to my car, I didn't forget where I parked by mistake.
Where I work, perfectly healthy people use an elevator to go up one floor. The elevator is right next to the stairs, and the building is only two stories. The elevator was put there for deliveries and bulky packages, but apparently, a folder full of paper qualifies as a "package". Elevators have maximum weight limits, but they should have minimums too. If you get in and you're under 300 pounds, your fat ass is walking.
A bit harsh? Maybe, but we're spoon-fed almost everything. We don't have to get up to answer the phone, since it's clipped to our ever-expanding belt ... we have remote controls for every entertainment outlet in the house, and if we misplace it, we'll watch Telemundo rather than get off the chair to change the channel - remember the good old days when you had to get up? ... we would rather sit in our cars at a bank that is empty on the inside and use the pneumatic tube instead of parking and walking in ... I've known people to get in their cars and drive across the street to the convenience store (how's that for a name?) rather than walk ... most people would rather play a video game than participate in the actual game ... need I continue?
Not to mention the fact that our vehicles have more junk in them than some people have in their homes. Video screens, CD players and satellite radios, more cup holders than seats, navigation systems, climate control and power windows/seats/mirrors/door locks. If we didn't have to steer, we wouldn't have to move at all. Something tells me they're working on that, too.
We love our conveniences so much that we would rather pay an extra 1% sales tax than have to leave our car to pump gas - by a 7 to 1 margin, if we are to believe the numbers, but I don't think it has anything to do with money. We see the self-serve deal as another assault on our idleness, and like a lot of other things, we won't stand for it.