A remarkable and terrifying thing happened to me this morning, and when I realized what I had done I wanted to scream.

I was driving in to work and passed a gas station and noticed that the price of regular unleaded was $2.65 a gallon. My heart leaped into my throat, my brain felt all giddy and I instantly started calculating how much savings I would be realizing when I filled up the truck next time.

You understand the problem here, donít you? The ruffians and reprobates have won. The Philistines have accomplished exactly what they intended all along:

They have made us happy to get gas at $2.65 a gallon. Well, maybe not happy per se, but we are relieved at least. The big oil companies and worthless excuses for legislative and executive branches of federal government have all failed us in lieu of padding their own pockets. We plod along, bleeding ourselves to pay $2.75 a gallon for gas and when the price drops to $2.65 a gallon we blow the 10 cents savings on beer, pretzels and party favors.

Itís appalling to me that the administration and the legislators of this country spend more time worrying about Iranís nuclear ambitions than the butt-whupping gas prices are putting on middle and lower-income Americans. That the White House refuses to address the obvious and indisputable price-gouging going on here by markets that artificially send fuel prices through the roof just because someone might start trouble in Patagonia or some silly place like that, or there might be a disaster in east Timbuktu.

"We should be grateful," they tell us. "Europeans have been and still are paying far more for gasoline than us."

Yeah? Well maybe thatís why we donít choose to live in Europe, you twits.

What a rip.

Meanwhile, our lovely state government, at the behest of Honest Bob Odom, has pushed a bill through the legislature requiring ethanol be an additive to gas by a year from now. The governor has said sheíll sign it. Even the proponents admit it may drive the cost of a gallon of gas up as much as 67 cents for Louisiana drivers.

That would be, at current pricing, $3.32 a gallon. Proponents say by the time the measure takes effect, the price of gas will have gone down enough to offset the increase if it indeed happens. Crystal ball readers, to be sure.

The bill was introduced, by the way, by several legislators including Jack Smith, who also voted for approval, and got a vote in favor in the Senate from Butch Gautreaux.

The Morning Advocate reports that Odom said requiring Louisiana drivers to use ethanol puts the state on the ground floor of an enterprise certain to bloom in the years to come.

We who will be at the pumps paying for it will be on the ground floor all right. Of the poor house.

I say again, what a rip.

They tell us also that New Orleans and most of south Louisiana is sinking much faster than they originally thought, making the future of hurricane and flood protecting even more uncertain than just a few months ago, which was pretty pathetic at that time. Because we have diverted the natural flow of rivers and the like, that sinking used to be negated by the deposit of sediment over the flood plains, but we build levees and diverted natural water flow and now weíre paying the cost by living in soup bowls. Weíre stunned to realize that New Orleans isnít the only bowl in the Louisiana landscape. We may have them all over the coast.

I got a plan.

Since we canít get insurance down here without a second or even third job to pay for it, coverage would be worthless anyway, and FEMA wouldnít rescue us within a month or more, we should turn the whole Louisiana coast into the Eighth Wonder of the World.

First, everyone moves north of Alexandria. Then, over the next decade or two, the sinking will create a new "land oí lakes" so to speak. Lake Lafayette, Lake Crowley, Lake Iberia, Lake Houma, and so forth. Thereíd be enough high ground snaking through it all for tourism purposes. We could set up checkpoints at each access path and sell tickets.

"See the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Louisiana Land Oí Lakes!" the crier shouts to the assembled visitors through his bull horn. "Yes, ladies and gents, you, too, can take a scenic boat ride through south Louisiana, once the home of a thriving civilization like that of Pompeii, Greece or Mexico City! Hear the story of how an entire nation abandoned and doomed these fun-loving, hard-working citizens to a mass Exodus away from their beloved homelands into the higher regions of the north! Marvel at the remarkable tale of a culture wiped off the face of the earth due to corruption, vanity, bitter in-fighting and socio-economic-religious-racial-political back stabbing! Step right up, ladies and gents, only $100 per person, $99 for the kiddies, so we can pay the $44 a gallon for gas in the boats to take you on these once-in-a-lifetime educational tours."

Pardon me. Iím going to get started packing. I hear the weatherís nice in Patagonia this time of year.