Houston Goes Nuts

Just got off the phone with my sister, who lives in Houston. Presently the hurricane is two days away from Houston. So what is Houston doing? Obeying the proverb that says:

When in trouble
When in doubt
Run in circles
Scream and shout

I called her because I was eating pancakes at the Daily Grind coffeee shop in downtown Memphis and saw the morning news on television. I don’t have a television at my house, so I miss a lot of the visual data that gets strewn around the nation. I saw on the tube a long line of cars on the North Freeway, heading out of town. Come to find out, the line was bumper-to-bumper for 100 miles. Why? Because the hurricane may be there in two days.

There is no gasoline in Houston now. It’s all been bought up. The city that oil built, the home of the refineries, is out of gasoline because the lemmings have bought it up. Result? People get on the freeway and sit and sit until they run out of gas. They’re what–fifty miles from home? And stranded. Or their cars have overheated and they’re stranded. Who can come and help them? They’ll be sitting out there on the freeway when the hurricane comes in. And you know that the poor mom & pop stations up north have all been bled dry as well–so the locals up there are out of luck for a while. After all, what trucker in his right mind is going to creep along in bumper-to-bumper traffic all day just to get a shipment to Huntsville or Livingston?

The grocery stores are empty. If anyone decides to go to the extra effort to bring gasoline or groceries to the consumers, he can command a high price. But if the whiners start yelling “price gouging, price gouging!” then the suppliers had just as well stay up here where the sane people reside and let the whiners starve. Thus the whiners are ground up in the wheels of the inexorable law of supply and demand.

Maybe the freeways will clear within two days. Then the folks who waited can decide whether to drive north or stay put.

Galveston has emptied out, and that’s a good thing. There’s still plenty of time, so they may have jumped the gun; but it looks like they did okay. The expectation currently is that Galveston is scheduled for demolition on Friday or Saturday. Too bad, but anybody living on the Gulf should know that one day he’s going to be blown to kingdom come. All of us have fond memories of Galveston–and photographs. So we won’t forget what it was like in the 20th century, after it recovered from the 1900 storm. Later generations can chronicle its rebuilding after this storm, and the eventual destruction of the 21st century Galveston. That’s life on the beach: build it, enjoy it, watch it blow away. Some folks like that kind of life.

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