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December 6th, 2016

Reiss’s Pieces

By Judy Reiss
I know that I told you about the many, many mice Malcolm caught during the winter months. Although he didn’t start counting in the very beginning, after he did start to count, he ended up with 29! And as I said then, they were chubby, well-fed, and each had lovely fur. And I know that I mentioned a mouse fur coat. I am sure there are many of you who are thrilled to know that was just a joke. Although I stand behind my first thought that even though it would be hard to get those pelts and sew them together, it sure would be warm and quite interesting, especially if you didn’t remove the legs and tail.

The only reason I am even bringing mice up is although it is April (and snowing, and snowing more snow than we have had all winter), Malcolm set just one little trap the other night before last and he caught a mouse with the most gorgeous fur you ever saw! And we both are of the opinion, where there is one mouse you can be sure that there are lots more. So last night he set the trap again and again this morning he found a great big furry mouse! So, now we are going to start counting with the first ones and not wait until we are halfway through the HUNT. Lord, do you suppose that there actually is a mouse season? I sure hope not because we seem to need to poach, at least, one a night. I probably will keep you posted on size and number, won’t that be a thrill?

Besides mice, my favorite topic these days is gas. And by gas I mean gasoline! This past winter as I was recovering from all my ridiculous health issues, Malcolm wouldn’t let me drive, so he drove me wherever I wanted to go. Of course, we went to the towns in the Mad River Valley almost daily and my terrific friend Cloe Knight picked me up every morning at 9:45 and after our coffee klatch, we oft times drove around a little and every other Wednesday we went to Stowe for a luncheon gathering with old friends. But Malcolm also took me to Burlington, Montpelier, and Newport for various and sundry doctor appointments. And because I was never the driver, it gave me the opportunity to check on gas prices! And for quite a while I was so pleased that the price of gas appeared to be at the lowest that I remembered in a long, long time.

In 1959, I used to drive from my college to Waitsfield every single weekend. And I can clearly remember trying to drive on almost fumes until I could get to Albany, NY because the gas was 19 cents a gallon. Yes, I said 19 cents and I mean 19 cents. However, this is an aside and not really relevant to today’s torture.

Have you heard that there is a new war and that gas has now gone from low back to high, price wise? Me neither. What I did hear the other day was that the price of oil, per barrel, was at the lowest it has been in years! Now if that is true, why has the price of gas gone up a lot? It seems to be that when the price per barrel goes down, the price at the pump for you and me should go down, too.

And my personal favorite is that the price of gas at the pump depends on where you live, or where you shop, or where you have to go to the doctor! Depending on the day I guess, there are days that the gas is significantly cheaper in Montpelier. And just when you decided to wait and get your gas there, it has gone way up for no apparent reason. And to make it worse it is now cheaper in Burlington! However, if you don’t have to go all the way to Burlington, it doesn’t make sense to go there just to get gas. And I am happy to say that one particular convenience store in Waitsfield always sells its gas cheaper. And if you go on Wednesday, it is even 5 cents cheaper than normal!

Regardless of where you go in Vermont, the price of gas varies. And if you can hang on until you cross the border into New Hampshire, again it is significantly cheaper, and I think always has been. Why?

I know that I am no longer the woman I used to be. I have a wonderful new knee but the rest of me is shot, so I guess someone will say I am just an old woman who complains. But I don’t think that is true. All I want is a logical reason that the price of gas, for our cars and trucks that we need, varies not just from town to town but from station to station regardless of the size of the town! I have a terrible feeling in my gut that the answer is some fat cat somewhere is making an obscene amount of money and they are getting it from the middle class. And although I like to think I have the answer to all of life’s problems, I have no idea how to stop this bleeding of middle class and the poor. If you know what we can do to relieve those who drive a car or truck from being gouged, please let me know.

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