A Bad Case of Gas – How Concerns of a Shortage Fuels Shortages

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May 7, 2021, a cyberattack was conducted against a company called Colonial Pipeline. Standard ransomware, where either Colonial Pipeline would pay an egregious amount in cryptocurrencies or have their data deleted, brought concerns of a fuel shortage to the eastern United States.

The group behind the attack, unironically calling themselves DarkSide like an edgy teenager in high school, said that they didn’t actually intend to create problems when they targeted one of the leading east coast fuel providers. Now, however, roughly fifteen gallons of fuel is up for bartering for one (1) exercise in anal sex. Perhaps we’re jumping the gun a bit.

Just a Wee Bit O’ Capitalism

In a grand view of the current issues, capitalism is likely the primary culprit of the current problem. This is married by circumstance to poverty-level salaries and anyone not having their bums wiped by a butler scrambling to gain a few extra pennies as we all march ever-closer to an inevitable (yet horrifying) death. 

Man hordes gasoline into buckets for transport
Photo credit: /u/oncompanytime2018 via Reddit

The have-nots are desperate to turn themselves into one of the few that have much, and are eager to make ends meet just as capitalism tends to encourage. In times of catastrophe (or inconvenience), these people with their financial backs to the wall are desperate to turn a buck. 

A Struggle To Survive

Worth noting that this is one of the few aspects where there is a monumental difference between the actions of the poor in the United States (we’ll define this as having less than seven figures of liquidity) and the wealthy. In times of need, when the wealthy need to inflate prices due to demand, it’s capitalism at work.

When the poor do it, it tends to be considered trashy and inconsiderate: stockbrokers were furious that their naked shorts were called out by retail investors (aka people), and GameStop investors were dragged over the coals for weeks by outlets such as CNBC.

The struggle of the wealthy versus the poor is likely a piece of itself, so I don’t want to delve too deeply. But the root of the hilarity that we’re about to appreciate is mired somewhere in the bogs of capitalism, where those who have are distrustful of those in desperate need. So, the cyberattack hits, and shortly thereafter the eastern United States gets to experience the (once again) unmitigated disaster of obscenely long lines for fuel with additional silliness.

This was fueled by click-baiting and concern trolling of news outlets, always desperate to inspire fear and trepidation in the masses in the hope that it will keep them glued to whatever medium for those sweet advertising dollars. Headlines and news tickers offered big, bold letters of ‘GAS SHORTAGE?’ and the ilk while hard-pressed camera operators scoured local fueling stations hoping to find that revenue-generating despair.

Couple hording gasoline due to the impending shortage that they may have been causing by hording gasoline
Photo Credit: /u/relevantlife via Reddit

All in all, a standard news cycle

Then the proletariats did precisely what they do: presumed there was a buck to be made, or that gas was going to disappear everywhere, forever. Cue people filling up gas containers, trash bags, and anything else they can get their hands on while making some of the most fascinating marketplace posts I’ve seen since Beanie Babies were ‘totally going to appreciate in value.’

Some citizens had items on hand to properly store the fuel, while others struggled to understand fluid dynamics. More than once, this was a circumstance of unfortunate timing as people realized that fuel gives off flammable fumes. Not the best time to light a cigarette.

Photo Credit: /u/meister2a via Reddit

Others were a bit more confused as to how liquids work, and if cardboard can hold gasoline. I mean, hey, we already have some boxes lying around.

A man attempts to fill cardboard boxes with gasoline for storage.
Photo Credit: /u/Hoosier_49 via Reddit

Yet there lies a shining pinnacle of the human condition, left yet undiscovered, coming from Austin, Texas. There’s a lot to unpack with this one, might want to get the gloves handy. We’ll be doing some lifting.

Marketplace post where a man attempts to barter his fuel for anal sex.
Screenshot Credit: /u/fakename1998 via Reddit

Here, we have a gentleman who is ‘blessed’ with a fuel tank; just as Jesus instructed his followers, he’s willing to part with up to 15 gallons of gas for anal sex. Thankfully, the poster clarified that he wanted his penis inside of the responder’s chocolate starfish (and not vice-versa), but he is willing to ejaculate inside of both men & women. A strong blow has been struck to sexism here, with the help of fuel-soaked hands.

Perhaps the most perplexing of this post is that the offer is for up to 15 gallons of gas, as though someone is going to have their anus reamed and not ask for the full fifteen gallons of fuel. With over 400 gallons of fuel, this gentleman can afford twenty-six of the butt sexes, presuming that anyone is high enough on methamphetamines to take the offer.

This is the current state of our species, whether brought from a lack of government impetus to help the unfortunate in dire times, an understanding that your government will willingly lie to us to protect their own profits, or merely a symptom of human greed.

Yet, the largest shortage has been brought about not by the pipeline being attacked (which resumed operation on May 13, six days after the attack), but by people being driven to a frenzy and desperately attempting to hoard the materials for their own profit (or pleasure). None of this was an issue until others decided it was; perhaps that’s the most vital aspect to comprehend from this pandemonium.

Cover image credit: Wassim Chouak: Lago di Garda, Italy

  1. Great article, Chris. It’s really sad to see our critical infrastructure so fragile and weak. Damn Russians…I wonder if they got the 5 million in dogecoin.

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