Friday, November 9, 2012

Rant #843: Odds and Evens

New York City and Long Island--Nassau and Suffolk counties--have implemented an odd/even gas system based on your license plate number.

They have done this to alleviate the long lines at gas stations since the coming of Hurricane Sandy and then the coming of the nor'easter afterwards.

Based on your license plate, if you have an odd number, you can fill up on odd numbered days; if you have an even number, you can fill up on even numbered days.

Those with vanity license plates can fill up either by whatever number is used on the plate--using the odd/even scheme--or if they don't have a number, they are considered to be odd (which isn't all that much off for people like this, by the way).

This program has worked in New Jersey, and hopefully, it will work in New York.

Last weekend, I waited a total of 10 hours on four lines, about two and a half hours apiece on these lines.

Only two of the lines proved to be worth it, as I was able to fill up my gas tanks--for my car and my wife's car--at two of the stations.

But I wasted five hours at two other stations, sitting there and doing nothing.

I am hoping that this process won't happen again, but since I am an even person, I can't get gas until Saturday, November 10.

My wife is an odd person (no, not really, but in this program she is), so she can get gas today or on Sunday.

This is the life we have to live now, and hopefully, it won't be that long before we get to normal.

But what is normal?

Is normal to be without electricity for more than a week and a half, like some people have been--my sister and my daughter included in that bunch?

Is normal to go to sleep in a house that is as cold as it is outside, in the 40s?

Is normal to see your house in ruins, and you are, in this instance, homeless?

Just what is normal now?

I don't know, but for those people whose lives have been incredibly changed by these weather events, I hope normal gets back to normal soon.

This is a catastrophe, one that will cost in the billions of dollars to fix. It has ruined lives, irreparably damaged our greatest resource, our people.

Maybe this is just a minor first step, but I think the gas rationing is a great idea.

Sure, it is a first step, but it could lead to something better.

Like getting back to the way we lived before these weather disturbances took that away from us.

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