Okay, it’s not really about gas prices, but at least it’s about gas stations. This is a snippet from the story The Honest Quack in the collection Four Faultless Felons. The scene is a simple conversation between two men. Windrush is a crochety old coot who sticks to his old house with one unusual tree. Dr. Judson is a very progress and forward-looking doctor, who is complaining about that same tree.
“But what’s the good of it?” Judson would cry out of the depths of dark exasperation. “What’s the use of having a thing like that?”
“Why, no use whatever,” replied his host. “I suppose it is quite useless as you understand use. But even if art and poetry have no use, it does not follow that they have no value.”
“But look here,” the doctor would start in again, scowling painfully. “I don’t see the value of it as art and poetry-let alone reason or sense. What’s the beauty of one dingy old tree stuck in the middle of bricks and mortar? Why, if you abolished it, you’d have room for a garage and you could go and see all the woods and forests in England-every blessed tree between Cornwall and Caithness.”
“Yes,” retorted Windrush, “and wherever I went, I should see petrol-pumps instead of trees. That is the logical end of your great progress of science and reason-and a damned illogical end to a damned unreasonable progress. Every spot of England is to be covered with petrol stations, so that people can travel about and see more petrol stations.”