Friday, May 19, 2006

Swapping for fuel

By Elaine Shein

For farmers who seek what to do about high fuel prices, especially when short of cash for those scary bills, perhaps there is another option.

A Reuters story said that a woman in Germany didn’t have enough money to pay for her gas, so she left behind a friend as a deposit and promised to return for the friend after she withdrew the cash.

Two hours later, the frustrated gas station worker still held the so-called friendly deposit and the other woman still hadn’t returned. Police were finally called, the friend at the station was released, and authorities were last searching for the driver for possible fraud.

Police might have another crime on their hands if the ex-friends encounter each other first and revenge comes to mind.

Consider what farmers could leave behind at the local gas station, or what to trade next time a load of fuel is brought to the farm.

Swap options

“Here, if we can just shove this heifer into the cab of your fuel truck … I swear I’ll get her back later when I’m in town.”

“Need a good round bale of hay? I’m sure you can tack some nice ad banners to it… You might want to keep it away from those fuel pumps though.”

“I told my honey we would do something special like take a trip for our 25th anniversary … I’m sure she won’t mind helping you deliver diesel for a week until that payment comes in for that last wheat shipment. Heck, Rosie will see much more of the county than ever before.”

“Kids, if you don’t stop fighting in the backseat, I’ll drop off one of you at the next gas station in exchange for a fuel gallons of gas … Don’t make me stop now!”

“Surely you could use a nice hog like this one. Okay, she’s no beauty queen: she really likes to pig out at fast food places and is real road hog if you let her drive, but she’s a great travel companion.”

“You’ll love this horse. Great horsepower, never nags, she’ll help you hoof it over to your other customers in no time. “

“I know it’s just, uhm, temporary, but you might want to cover these chickens’ eyes whenever you pass a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. They’re a bit sensitive about running into cousins of theirs unexpectedly…”

‘How ‘bout we swap: I’ll give you a few gallons of milk for a few gallons of fuel. I reckon this milk is worth at least $3 per gallon. And that’s without labor costs.”

“Can I interest you in some fine Christmas trees in exchange for the fuel? Sure, it’s a bit early for decorations, but you’ll get an early start for the season.”

“Tell you what: I’ve got four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. Can you give me a 12-day extension on that gas bill for those?”

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