On the way home from work in Cape Girardeau, MO, yesterday, I saw a strange sight on the streets of Sikeston, MO: two men, dressed in factory uniforms, traveling on a motorcycle–a single motorcycle. (Granted, in San Fransisco, CA, this would not have been anything different from normal, I might have waved them down to ask which YMCA they might be performing at. But in Sikeston, MO…)
To me, it’s a sign of the current gas prices. Hardworking Americans are doing whatever they can to make their dollars stretch as far as they can. (Even with the recent increase in minimum wage, many Americans are struggling.) Concessions are being made. Fewer, if any, are eating out like they once were. And many are joining carpools with complete strangers. (Although, I’d hope if you’re “motorcycle”pooling, you’d pool with someone you know. Riding the back of a motorcycle with someone you don’t know can be a bit awkward. Then again, for some, maybe it’s not. Steer clear of these people. Unless of course… I digress.)
The idea and the vivid visual of two grown men choosing to do what they can to get their families through this is severe. While it seems like a light hearted or comical sight, the reality of why it’s happening isn’t. The middle class in our country is being stretched and pulled in many directions. Most are honest, hard working people who need to catch a break.
And our Congress isn’t being much help. In fact, they’re about to recess for a vacation. A vacation? Really? (In the words of SNL’s Weekend Update… REALLY? REEEAAALLLLYYYY?) They’re about to recess for a vacation. And we’ll pay their trips home, we’ll pay their gas, we’ll pay the vacation, we’ll pay it all. It’s the system. In times like these they should relinquish some of the perks and use that money for the average Joe.
Vacation… out of our pocket book. Really?
I hope those two guys on the motorcycle expect as much out of their government as I do. I hope they’ll vote, and I hope they’ll make their voices heard.
I also hope they guy on the back of the motorcycle, while I understand why he might not want to, I hope he starts holding on. This is a dangerous ride and we’re in it together.