A Facebook correspondent adheres to the "Chemtrail" conspiracy theory. As I understand it, the contrails of commercial jets are a vehicle for spreading chemicals which make us subservient to the multinationals. I am sceptical, as I can’t imagine any such chemical.
But let me give it a test: ESSO sucks! MONSANTO is evil!
Obviously, I’m OK. But that doesn’t mean the theory is false.
And that being the case, what I’ve always thought was just a coincidence — or perhaps proof that the universe does have a perverse sense of humour — might actually be a conspiracy directed at me for sure, and perhaps a few other people — I couldn’t say.
Here’s what it is: I buy gas at a grocery chain, because it’s cheaper. But I have noticed that almost always, the price goes up just before I fill up, or goes down the day after. It’s happened so often that I’ve mentioned it to the attendants. Naturally, they laugh— what else can they do? But maybe there’s something to it.
If it is a conspiracy, then there are two possibilities: either there’s an invisible observer in my car — but that’s silly. Invisibility isn’t yet possible except at the atomic level.
Therefore, the grocery chain must have installed a sensor on my car. That would be quite easy: it wouldn’t have to be big or conspicuous, and I have used the "we serve" pumps often enough, so the installation could have been done anytime.
Nor would it have to be a complicated device: there is of course something in the gas tank that keeps track of how much gas there is in there: I would assume that it generates some sort of electrical signal which the gauge on the dashboard picks up; again, it would not have to be a complicated device that could intercept that signal and let the secret price-setting office know that I’m coming in.
Now mostly this is just a niggle — a matter of 40 cents or so per fill-up.
But sometimes I’m dinged with one of those seven cents a litre jumps. And why me? Did I somehow, somewhere, insult a member of the oil cartel?
Now I think about it — is this the only conspiracy I’m subject to? Have you ever noticed, when you’re driving, that very often when you turn your head to look at another driver, they’re turning to look at you?
I’m beginning to wonder!
Peter Lacey is a community correspondent for St. Vital.