From The Farmer’s Advocate, Sept. 4, 1942


“And this goes for sugar, too”


Our enemies must be delighted over the amount of time and printed space we take discussing gasoline, not as a sinew of war but as a matter of picayune personal convenience. How the local fifth columnist must put his tongue in his check as he listens to the endless airing of grievance on this score. Local rationing boards, on the other hand, must be less than amused when they get through their long hours of voluntary work.

It is not pleasant in ordinary times to listen officially to alibis, implausible lies, the drip of crocodile tears and sheer imbecility. But, what in peace time would be only a mild headache, in time of war is a devastating neuralgia hard to bear in silence. Have these chiselers who are sprinkled so plentifully among the many applicants with legitimate claims for supplementary gas, by the slightest chance heard that the United States is at war? Is the imagination that can create such elaborate falsehood, self-pity and shenanigans, incapable of seeing tankers gone down by the hundreds, their crews adrift for hours, days, weeks in some cases; not to mention millions on land and in the air locked in desperate conflict, the four corners of the earth strewn with the dead and the dying, so many of whom were defending to the last ditch, among other more important things, the democratic right to make pusillanimous complaint about a few gallons of gasoline more or less?

The man on the rationing board is tempted at times to turn to one of those spoiled children — or are they mental defectives? — and say: “Not to interrupt you. Don’t look now. But I think there is a war going on in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the seven seas. What do you think?” — Editorial from the New York Herald Tribune, August 29th.

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