Plenty of Oil

Written by Energy Tinkerer, wimbi

A man feels himself in need of some energy, so he goes to the lady who deals in that sort of thing, and orders some oil. To his surprise and delight, she gives him a hundred barrels, and only asks for one barrel back as payment.
“Wow” he says, “what a bargain”, and goes off and spends his oil on lots of fun things. 

But pretty soon he has burned up his 99 barrels of oil, and since he has got into some wasteful habits with it, is hankering for more, so he goes back to the lady, and again, she hands over 100 barrels of oil right off the shelf, but this time she asks for two barrels of it back as payment. The man is slightly surprised but still thinks he as got a great bargain for his 98 barrels of oil, and rushes off to the same games as before. 

But the next time he goes for oil, he is again surprised to find that this time the lady asks for 4 barrels in return, still a bargain, and he goes back to his oil-lubricated partying. 

The next trip to the lady, and this time its 8 barrels, then 16, still a great buy, but getting a bit painful, since by now he has got into wasting it real fast. And the next time, she wants 32 back, leaving him with only 68 to feed his addict habits- starting to really hurt. And the next, when she asks for 64 barrels back out of the 100 she gives him, he starts to get seriously worried, but what can he do, he’s just gotta have that oil. 

Then things get really bad, for his next fix, the lady offers him his 100 barrels same as always, but then, of all things, demands 128 barrels back as payment! Nonsense! The man is outraged- he can’t pay that price of course, since he hasn’t saved a drop of all the oil he has bought, he had blown it straight up into the stratosphere as quickly as he got it. 

“Hey, what kinda fool do you think I am, nobody would pay more oil than what they get when they get it!” 

The lady smiles pleasantly “You ask what kind of fool are you? A really big one, looks to me.”

The man is doubly outraged. She has added insult to injury. Unbearable! 

“Look here, you told me you had plenty of oil, and now you tell me it’s gonna cost me more than it’s worth. This is crazy, you have let me fall into a trap! But I gotta have that energy. I can’t live without it. What am I gonna do?” 

“Sure, I have plenty of oil,” Replies Mother Nature in a cheerful tone, “but of course you have to pay the price for it, which has got to go up as you use up the easy stuff and have to start digging deeper. Ever try heavy plumbing jobs on a heaving boat in a 40 below blizzard while being bulldozed by an iceberg? You are in a trap, alright, but you built it, and then jumped into it, I didn’t push you” “And” she adds as an afterthought, “you might have thought a little about how to use that oil when you had it, like, for example, finding some other source of energy before it got too expensive”, she says, squinting into the sunlight as a sort of a hint. 

The man, seeing no way out, falls down in a tooth gnashing, dirt-tearing, hopeless addict fit. 

Mother Nature, ignoring the silliness, goes off about her business, carefree as ever.