Quirky Stories

Diesel Dilemma!

Wide Open Spaces… in a Diesel Vehicle!

by Sharon Archer

I was on my way home from work on Friday and I heard the smallest radio snippet about diesel supply. Not a news alert, just a passing remark in a station advertisement.  Hardly note worthy.

But then, when I picked up the mail from the Post Office, I looked along the street to the petrol station.  The price for diesel was blanked out.  No price because there was NO diesel.  When I got home, I got out the Yellow Pages and rang around – not a drop of diesel to be had at any of the stations I rang.

OTurns out there’s been an electrical fault at the refinery.  Hopefully, it’s all fixed now and supply will be back to normal in a week or so but until it is, we’ll need to be frugal with travel.  And, I confess, we’re lucky because we have a back-up in the form of a motorbike that uses petrol.

But all this got me thinking how we take our marvellous technologies so much for granted.  When it’s working smoothly, it’s wonderful.  But what about those times when it doesn’t?

For instance, what if the diesel supply had been disrupted for any length of time?  For a start, our little vehicle would have become a large carport ornament!  And that’s just us…. thinking about the bigger picture.  It’s hay-making season here and it’s a bumper season… and all the machinery required for this runs on diesel.  There are going to be delays with the mail – and so close to Christmas, that will be a major headache for the post office!   Deliveries of food supplies – fresh vegetables, milk, meat… Buses run on diesel… and trains.  And garbage trucks.  What about emergency services?  Ambulances, fire trucks?  Other things?  Imagine if it had happened while we were travelling… which is an excellent excuse for me to share the photo at the top of the post!

Anyway… it makes you think, doesn’t it?  So have you had any supply hiccups lately?  Was it something small and local or something that might have had wider implications?

10 thoughts on “Diesel Dilemma!”

  1. Hi Sharon – this does give one pause, doesn’t it? There is a new TV show in USA based on the premise of the entire world losing electricity – can you imagine a worldwide blackout?
    Recently we had an example of gas rationing after hurricane Sandy hit the northeast. The lines waiting for gas seemed miles long, and EVERYONE was upset and frustrated.

    1. Lynne, I was thinking about people in the hurricane Sandy area as I wrote this – in fact, anyone living in an area that’s been hit by a natural disaster. It’s not until something disrupts availability of petrol/diesel/gas/other that we realise how much we rely on it. And electricity is another one of those things so central to the way we live these days! The power goes out and we’re scrambling for torches and candles – fortunately we have a good supply of those on hand! But it’s funny how automatically my hand will reach for a light switch – even when I know we’re having a power outage!

      Hey, I’ll keep an eye out for that TV show!

  2. I’ve just had to go into a primary school and talk to them about disasters as part of the curriculum. Nine year olds have a whole array of suggestions about what we should do. None of them liked the thought of no electricity though!

    1. Scarlet, that sounds like such an interesting thing to do. How many sessions does each class get and how is the course structured? What sorts of things do you recommend? Tell all!

      Oh, I can imagine how well the thought of no electricity went down. So hard to use one of those hand held games once the battery is flat! 😉

  3. I remember when we had a huge scramble in QLD after the dreadful floods cut everyone off from everything a couple of years ago. I’ve never seen supermaket shelves completely bare! It looked very apocalyptic…

    1. Oh, yes, Amy, the Queensland floods must have really disrupted supply. I imagine seeing the shelves so empty would have really brought home the selection and abundance that we’re usually so lucky to have.

  4. Hi Sharon!
    Living in a region recently devastated by Hurricane Sandy, I can most certainly say I’ve seen the horrors of days and weeks without electricity. And even though I was very lucky and did not lose power, as a result of the hurricane there was a significant gas shortage in the area that was rather frightening, considering where I live you must drive to town and shopping and school.

    1. Wendy, we live a bit out of town too so it means driving for any shopping etc as well. So at the moment if we have to go into town, we make the trip worthwhile – no nipping back because we forgot to pick up mail or milk. And we’re driving very very conservatively, no gas-guzzling acceleration – should probably wear a hat as a warning to other road users!

  5. After a major storm we had trouble getting gas and the price was double if we could get it. No fun. Like Wendy, years ago and four small children, we camped out at out house during a snow storm with no water, electric or trips to the store. We soon learned what was important.

    1. Susan, that is no fun about the doubled price. I wonder if it will happen here… a cynical corner of me won’t be surprised if it does. 😦

      Your camp out must have been a worrying time, not knowing when it was going to end. You must have had a well-stocked pantry and thank goodness for it!

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