Saturday, May 26, 2007

Holiday, It Would Be So Nice

I hear we’re all supposed to be reeling from high gas prices yet stoically soldiering on with our holiday travel plans anyway. I know this because the media has been telling me so all week long. The “you will travel” chorus has become increasingly shrill over the past two weeks, in concert with panic about rising gas prices. There’s a hint of desperation here, the sense that if people stay home this weekend the entire American economy will collapse and life as we know it will come to a screeching halt. Worried, much?

It finally reached a crescendo about a week ago, when the highway construction lobby, er, I mean, the AAA, issued a news release stating that Americans may stay closer to home but, by God, they will pack up the kids and hit the road this weekend. This hit the wires and has been dutifully stenoed by the mainstream media ever since.

Well, let me be the first to call bullshit on this one. I just drove from Nashville to Cincinnati on what is supposed to be the busiest driving weekend of the year and the traffic was surprisingly light. Big RVs were few and far between; I passed two in four and a half hours. There were plenty of 16-wheelers but cars and SUVs? Not so much.

Near as I can tell, Americans aren’t hitting the road in record numbers, no matter how much the AAA is telling them otherwise. At least, that’s what I’m seeing out here in my little patch of Middle America.