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Chaps: because if they had an ass, they'd just be called pants.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Surging energy costs to break household budgets: A JTC panel discussion

As the Toronto Star points out, although the price of oil is predominantly felt at the pumps, the quick and continuous rise of oil prices will most certainly bring about a Mad Max-esque society of rioting consumers fighting to survive. The article plays out cost scenarios for a variety of common household items likely to be affected by the wide-ranging effects of high energy costs. With this important topic deserving of some analysis, two of your directors, JohnnyM and Coco The Monkey, sat down to discuss the end of the world.

JohnnyM: How's tricks, Coco? What do you make of this awful situation and brilliant article?

Coco The Monkey: The article lists a range of common household items that are petroleum-based and will rise with the cost of the barrel, or will increase in cost due to links to oil prices through distribution or manufacturing. Frankly, I'm a little worried about the unavoidable nylon-toothpaste-pillow-mop-ice-cube-tray-trash-bag-ballpoint-pen-based riots.

Johnny: Did you say ice-cube trays? Holy shit! I go through like 10 ice-cube trays a week! (straps on riot gear)

Coco: I used to buy $0.99 ice cube trays and then get about 20 years of use out of them. Thanks to the price of oil, my ice-cube tray costs could possibly double, putting me out another dollar every 20 years. Not sure how I’m going to afford that. And don’t even get me started on mops. I don’t think I’ve heard of a more high frequency, matter-of-life-or-death purchase. We’re fucking doomed.

Johnny: The people I feel for are the bank robbers who rely on putting nylons on their face to conceal their identity. You need money, so you’re going to rob a bank; can’t rob a bank, because you don’t have enough money for nylons. It’s a fucking no win situation.

Coco: Fuck nylons, what about mailing letters? No, not email - you know, the kind where you get out a quill and ink, grab a piece of parchment and send a message as a value alternative to the pricey telegraph? These days, I’m sending like one or maybe even two of those each year! If Canada Post goes ahead, as the article describes, and raises the price of a single stamp from 52 to 54 cents, and by two more cents each year in each of 2010 and 2011, my annual mailing costs are going to skyrocket from just over a dollar, to somewhere in the neighbourhood of a little bit more than just over a dollar. It’s absolutely frightening.

Johnny: All of this is so scary to talk about, but someone has to talk about it – it’s too important not to.

Coco: No shit. For another gasp, take a look at the article's example of driveway sealer costs - a possible 37% increase! That means my favorite, airport-grade brand could go from the affordable price of $27.49, to a sorry-kids-you’re-not-going-to-college price of $37.66!

Johnny: This driveway sealing thing has me really concerned. While I’ve never bought driveway sealer in my life – and don’t actually have a driveway – I feel certain that there are some cracks requiring petroleum-derived sealers SOMEWHERE in my house.

Coco: What a disaster.

Johnny: I feel sick, and I’d love to take a nap to try to get rid of this pounding headache I’ve developed. Unfortunately, I throw away my pillows after each use, and due to the SOARING COST OF PILLOWS, I’m completely screwed.

Coco: I could cry, but I'm worried my tears might be petroleum-based, and if so, I can't afford to.

Johnny: The only saving grace in all of this is that I feel protected from the recent sharp increase in the cost of ballpoint pens. I steal a box of those a week from work, so it’s all good. Maybe I can sell those pens on the sure-to-be red hot ballpoint pen black market to buy my pillows, stamps, driveway sealer, nylons and ice cube trays.

Coco: Exactly - if there is anything to learn from this article and it's rational doomsday forecast, its that it will be important for all citizens to start clearing out the canned food and making space in their bomb shelters for the necessary ballpoint pens, mops, and tar-based sealers that will soon be bartered in these underground markets. This will save the average citizen from having to go to the seedy, mob-run house and office supply gangs for their needs. If we don't start hoarding now, well be at the mercy of the cartels flying Bics and Swiffers in from Colombia.

Johnny: Horrifying.

Coco: No shit! However, what really concerns me, and is not mentioned in the article, is the inevitably prohibitive cost of the most critical of petroleum-based products - petroleum jelly. That's right, no longer will the average working class labourer be able to afford the luxury of a generous daily coating of Vaseline. Just imagine the impacts to productivity when our working men and women arrive on the job chapped and chaffing, and having had to bare-back their masturbatory sessions. Oh, the humanity.

Well, that's all the time we have today. I'd like to thank our panel members, us. Your panel will return next week when we discuss investment strategies for the new century, with specific focus on the effects of rising sea levels on the price of coconuts.

Did I read that right? Dammit! I fucking love coconuts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yaayyyyy two posts in a week, your reader feels spoiled