I was dumbfounded (and that may be a very good word under the circumstances) to see this tweet put out yesterday by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission:
I could hardly believe my eyes. Is it even possible that educated First World residents can be so stupid as to do something like that, and therefore need to be warned against it?
That was before I saw these photographs, among others (also yesterday):
It seems the USCPSC understands (some) Americans better than I do . . .
Those aren't the only images of the current East Coast gas shortage to boggle my mind. I saw photographs and reports of:
- A man filling half a dozen 55-gallon drums in the back of his half-ton pickup truck, which had bottomed out its suspension under the strain (and they were blue plastic barrels as well, a color normally used for and indicating potable water - does he plan to return them to that use once he's consumed the fuel they now contain?);
- A woman filling 5-gallon buckets with no lids in the load compartment of her minivan, with kids inside looking on;
- One man, busily filling 10 five-gallon plastic gas containers, blithely confirming to a reporter that yes, he was planning to store them in the attached garage of his home, in case of need - completely ignoring the fire hazard he was creating for himself and his family, plus the fact that it's almost certainly illegal in any US jurisdiction, under fire marshal regulations, to store such a quantity in such a location.
I wonder how many people will be killed by such stupidity before the current gasoline crisis is over?