If you're a poor slob like me who still drives a car despite the high price of gasoline (high for Americans, anyhow), you've certainly noticed by now that the price has come down just a little bit in the last couple of weeks. As you may also recall, Rocky Twyman, a Jesus-freak and Oprah Winfrey self-help guru, launched a series of pray-ins at gas stations when the price began to sky rocket back in April. His "Pray at the Pump" campaign was intended to invoke divine assistance in making gas cheaper so that Americans could once again exercise their apparently god-given right to drive Hummers. At that time, I started praying, too, but I prayed to the One True God — the Ghost of Norman Fell. Moreover, I prayed that the price of gas would go up during the period from April 27 until the beginning of June. It was a test I devised to see whether the Ghost of Norman Fell was, in fact, more powerful than Twyman's "Jesus," whom some readers may have heard of before. For those that haven't, Jesus, also known as "Christ" and "Son o'God" and "Jehovah Junior" is a particularly popular ghost amongst certain Western religious sects, said to be the disincarnate spirit of a Middle Eastern prophet and part-time carpenter executed by Roman authorities around 30 CE. You can find out more about him and some of the more popular myths propounded by cults based on his alleged exploits on Wikipedia.
So here we are in mid-August and Rocky Twyman and friends are now claiming credit for a decrease in the price of gasoline:
Petrol pump pilgrims keep faithOh, really?
By Greg Wood and Sandra Shmueli
Rocky Twyman, 59, a veteran community campaigner, started Pray At The Pump meetings at petrol stations in April.
Since then, the average price of what the US calls gasoline has fallen from more than $4 a gallon to $3.80...
"We were down in Huntsville, Alabama. We finished praying," Mr Twyman said. "Immediately the owners came out and changed the gas prices. They brought it down. We had marvellous success down in St Louis, Missouri."
This week the group returned to the site of their first prayer meeting to celebrate. Singing "We shall overcome," they changed the words of the well-known hymn to "We'll have lower gas prices".
Mr Twyman is sceptical that market forces might be responsible for the lower prices...
First off, the article is wrong. The US national average price for a gallon of gas when Twyman started his "Pray at the Pump" drivel wasn't $4 but about $3.30; it didn't hit $4 per gallon until Memorial Day weekend, which is at the end of May, or more than a month after Twyman started trying to get Jesus involved and I brought down the power of Norman Fell upon America's gas stations. The price of gas went up, not down, demonstrating that Norman Fell is, indeed, far more powerful than this Jesus fellow.
Moreover, the price of gas continued to climb until peaking in July, or a month after I stopped beseeching Mr. Roper's Holy Spirit to stop increasing it. In all that time, Jesus was unable to reverse the mighty, mighty force of Spectral Fell. In fact, even with the recent decline from the peak price, the average price is still about $3.80 per gallon. That's 15% higher than it was when Twyman started blubbering to his false idol.
Still, I could be making all of this up, couldn't I? Well, here's a graph charting the national average cost for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline for the period beginning in February 2006 and ending in August 2008. It is based on information compiled by the US Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration. I took the original graph and added a red "x" to the point at which Twyman started his pray-ins and a green "x" at that which I stopped praying to Norman Fell. As you can see, Twyman's praying was clearly ineffective, and the price of gas decreased only after Norman Fell's divine power to raise prices was no longer invoked:
In case there were any doubters left out there, this is graphic proof of the superiority of Norman Fell to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. For Twyman to continue to claim otherwise is nothing short of blasphemy, a crime against the Holy Roper for which he will surely be punished in the most severe manner.
Death to the Infidel! The power of Fell compels you! Abandon ye your wicked ways of worshiping the wheezing, wonky Jesus and take the step that is new. Get down on your knees for Norman!