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I don’t know about you, but I find it a little annoying to pick up the paper and read that the cost of keeping warm this winter could be higher - then again, it could be lower.
That’s what it said: could be higher, could be lower. And they get paid for saying things like this.
What does it all mean, John? I hear many of you asking. Good question.
In round numbers it means if you spent $2,000 heating your deluxe double-wide last winter you'll cough-up $3,500 or maybe $4,400 this winter, if prices go higher.
Speaking of coughing-up, you'll probably be doing a lot more of that, too, come winter, since the Farmer's Almanac people – those rural psychics who like to predict such things — are saying that we're going to have a long, dark, bleak, dreary, bitter-cold, snowy, icy winter, just like we deserve. No more of this foolishness like last winter’s record-setting mild weather. After all, this is Maine, Bunky, so just grow up and deal with it.
At this point, if you have any kind of memory at all you're probably scratching your head and mumbling something to yourself like: "Last winter was one of the mildest on record? Who's record? And how come nobody told me?"
I hear you, friend. They never tell you who keeps those records. They only say that the records are “kept.” Somewhere.
Don’t be offended that no one told you; I didn't get the memo, either.
Just once I'd like to know that the winter we're living through at that particular time is going into the history books as the mildest winter ever recorded on the planet. Just knowing that would allow us all to enjoy the whole experience a lot more, don't you think?
Anyway, if you're wondering about now how you're going to come up with 40 percent more money to pay for your (maybe) increased heating costs. “Experts,” who probably know more than they're telling us, say you're supposed to dip into that pile of money you have left over from the small oil bills you had as a result of that balmy winter we had last year.
In other news, for those who can't get enough updates on the supermarket “express lane” issue I wrote about a quite a while back, I’ll include one more e-mail on the subject.
Phil from Brunswick writes: “John, The other day I was standing with my wife in the ‘fast lane’ at the supermarket. In front of me was a man and woman and each had 12-14 items. The man goes through and then comes back and pays for the woman's items. I assume she was his wife. What a variation on sneaking through with more than 14 items. I turned to my wife with a surprised look and she said it happens all the time.”
Thanks for the e-mail, Phil. Would it have been OK with you if the woman had been his girlfriend instead of his wife? Just wondering.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly throughout
New England. Contact John at mainestoryteller@yahoo.com or 899-1868.
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