maintain the rage

For more than 25 years my husband refused so much as to set tyre on a Shell service station concourse.

He used to say he would rather run out of petrol going past a Shell service station than stop and refill there.

His boycott of Shell went back to 1975 when one of its then-senior executives gleefully endorsed Sir John Kerr’s sacking of the Whitlam Government.

Comrades, let me tell you, he maintained the rage until about 2002 when we bought an airconditioner and received with it $500 worth of petrol … redeemable only at Shell.

By then the offending Shell hands had long gone and the hubby figured he’d be running on empty as far as commonsense was concerned not to cash in.

Irrespective of politics, it reminds me that sometimes we do need to vote with our feet.

It’s not so much one single thing as the steady drip, drip drip of corporate arrogance that’s turned me right off the big two supermarkets.

Like the way they think I’m so stupid I’ll believe self-serve checkouts are intended for my convenience rather than their bottom line.

The way they continually squeeze their suppliers, demanding they find cost savings or risk their products being removed from the aisles.

The way they are planning over-sized supermarkets in towns with insufficient populations to support them, which independent grocers claim is a deliberate strategy to obliterate existing local businesses.

But most particularly I resent that the ‘family-friendly fresh food people’ are also Australia’s largest owner of poker machines with a most unhealthy appetite for gaming revenue.

Is that a Woolworths petrol station? Damn, I think I just ran out of gas.

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