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BY JAMES SNYDER
I am not usually given to protesting much of anything these days. "Live and let live," is the motto I go by and up until now, it has served me rather well and I have no complaints.
I must confess, however, that recently I have been challenged in this area of my life. I have tried to keep my cool and have succeeded to a minimal success. I know one of these days I am going to turn into Popeye where he says, "That's all I can stands, I can't stands n'more?" Then, look out.
I will be the first to say that I certainly do not understand economics. Balancing my checkbook each month, for example, is an act fit for a three-ring circus. I remember I did balance my checkbook once but that was 1978. My policy has been to run my checkbook until it is so completely mixed up I have to close that account and open up a new account. It is easier for me to do it that way. To spend 97 hours each month balancing my checkbook is a waste of time as far as I am concerned. For me, it is that time of the month when I come the closest to swearing.
I try to listen to these money and economy experts explaining the whole economic situation. I just wish they would not speak in Chinese.
Of course, I am not sure I want to listen to all of these financial experts. After all, the Wall Street financial wizards are the ones responsible for the financial mess our nation is in right now. If they are so smart, why did they screw up our national finances so much? I know I am not smart along these lines, but then I did not mess up the national economy.
Politicians do not fare any better. I have often wondered why it is that a politician can raise so much money so quickly while running for office but once in office he does not seem to be able to handle the money. If we could take all the money politicians raise during the campaign cycle and apply it to the national debt we would have two blessed results. One, our national debt would almost be wiped out, and two, no politician would ever be elected. I say, hallelujah, pass the offering plate.
Last week I accompanied my wife to the store to buy groceries. It was there I began understanding the influence of high inflation on my personal pocketbook. We took our groceries to the checkout counter and, as usual, I was not paying too much attention. The cashier rang up our groceries and then came to the total. I looked at it, looked at my wife, looked back at the total and exclaimed, "Are we feeding the Navy Seals?"
I took my credit card out of my wallet and as I paid the grocery bill I said to my wife, "Oh well, we have to eat."
Another day this past week, I noticed the fuel gauge on my car was pointing towards empty. I took it down to get filled up with gasoline and to my deep chagrin, and believe me, my chagrin does not get any deeper, it was almost $100 to fill it up. As I returned the nozzle and replaced the cap on my gas tank I sighed and said to myself, "Oh well, I have to drive to get anywhere."
On Mother's Day, I took my wife and another couple to a restaurant to celebrate Mother's Day. When I got the check, I almost expired. How can any restaurant charge that much for food and sleep at night? I put on my best smile and said to myself, "Oh well, it's nice to dine with another couple."
All of this I took in stride, as they say. That is part of living and that is part of a depressed economy. If you think our economy is depressed, come visit me and have a little chat and you will find someone who is really depressed.
Then this inflation business crossed the forbidden line.
I went up to the bakery department to purchase the obligatory Friday morning Apple Fritter. I think it is important to establish good habits and my Friday morning Apple Fritter is one of those good habits.
I was chatting to the person behind the counter who was getting my Apple Fritter and did not notice the price. I took it up to the checkout counter to pay and noticed it was $.79. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly I assure you. Seventy-nine cents for my Apple Fritter! For over 10 years, I was paying $.70. Now, where did this nine cent increase come from? Who is getting this extra nine cents?
Mess with my groceries, mess with my gasoline, but brother, do not mess with my Apple Fritter. The most dangerous zone on planet earth is that area between my Apple Fritter and me. It is here that I draw the line. Some things in life carry with it the sacredness of, "touch thou not." My Apple Fritter is number one on that list.
The Bible says, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV).
There is a time to stand up, speak up and protest loudly.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.