Gut Rumbles

August 31, 2005

a world full of idiots

Bejus! I actually have commenters DEFENDING what Vampire Bruce did after Hurricane Hugo. He made a $9.50 profit on every bag of ice he sold to people wrecked by a storm and some nit-wits APPLAUD his actions. Yeah. That guy is a fucking hero.

Just make sure you keep your doors locked at night and a gun handy when he's around. That's damn sure MY KIND of hero.

(You know how he got fired at work? Incompetence and cheating on expense reports after travel. He got another job and was fired from there. Know why? He went out on a "lunch break" and solicited a blow-job from an undercover police officer posing as a prostiute at 9:00 at night. He was married with children at the time.)

There's your fucking hero.


Wow. The truck was free, the gas was free?

Man, yeah, Bruce was a real asshole.

Or knows how to get hellacious deals. Or was bad at math.

Posted by: Addison on August 31, 2005 05:17 PM

Dash, over at The Boiling Point, has his own take on this.

I'm not sure what the dividing line is between the normal functioning of supply and demand and price gouging, but it's like obscenity: I know it when I see it.

As I write this, gasoline is up to $3.29/gallon in the northern Atlanta suburbs, and there are gas lines forming. Supplies will be tight, as the pipelines to Georgia from the Gulf Coast are down, and we're pulling inventory. Let's all see how long it takes for the SUV drivers to panic.

Posted by: Elisson on August 31, 2005 05:25 PM

Congratulations! You've successfully falsified the laws of supply and demand because the guy trying to make a buck was a reprobate!

I mean, get real. The only people to get things done are the guys trying to turn $10 into $100. The Red Cross and the National Guard get the press, but the real post hurricane reconstruction team is the unorganized swarm of beady eyed crackers with pickups full of costco water towing bush hogs.

Posted by: pdb on August 31, 2005 05:30 PM

So there should be a price tag on doing good deeds? So every time I drop off food & clothes to the rescue mission, I should charge them for drive time?
Haven't you ever heard of just doing something out of the goodness of your heart?

Posted by: Maeve on August 31, 2005 05:58 PM

There is a difference between the well known law of supply and demand and the protocols of society, decency, and honor. Anyone who charges $10 for a bag of ice costing $.50 is not adjusting for market differences or shipping costs, they are gouging their eyes out.

You may well be 'getting stuff done', but at a terrible cost to those whose misery and current wretched state you are preying on. I'm with Rob on this one.

Posted by: Colin on August 31, 2005 05:58 PM

Breaking into storm damaged stores is not the only form of looting.
I consider most televangelists looters/gougers also and they will be cranked up now wanting extra donations to help the hurricane victims.

Posted by: TomR on August 31, 2005 06:18 PM

I even saw two cops stealing shoes in New Orleans. They had that on TV last night, they should have installed the shot on sight rule, like they had in Miami and LA. I bet everyone of those people stealing and looting had a record. And the guy from work, he should be tared and feathered. 10.00 for a bag of ice, that is mighty greedy and a SOB in my book. And by the way, I did not know Bruce, I must have been retired when he did that, or just did not know him, Cat

Posted by: catfish on August 31, 2005 06:34 PM

I wonder, when this scum sucking SON OF A BITCH! (YES, your mothers a whore!) - when he was hawking ice off the back of the truck, and some poor schmuck told him that he only had five bucks, I wonder how loud this cumless son of a whore LAUGHED and said "fuck you and your wife and kids!!!!....GOT-DAMN BASTARD!......and YES, I'm yelling on a keyboard - GET THE FUCK OVER IT!!!!!

Posted by: James Hooker, ace of aces on August 31, 2005 06:51 PM

I can't believe that someone would actually defend what Bruce did.
Our local "beef people" were charging us $5 a bag after Ivan and the state put a stop to that FAST!!
It's robbery in my book.
It's wrong.
It's taking advantage of another's misfortune and it's being as greedy as they come.
I wonder how many children went without milk because their parents couldn't afford the ice to keep the shit cold.
Bite me with your stupid analogies of supply and demand!

Posted by: Dawn on August 31, 2005 06:53 PM

...AND, I forgot to add, "Maeve", you're a darlin'

..........NOT ducking!

Posted by: James Hooker on August 31, 2005 06:56 PM


OK, I'm a maggot, an idiot, and a nit-wit.

Since you know everything, what price should he have charged? Is anything above 50 cents heartless gouging?

Here's another good question - who did the most good, a guy who got thousands of pounds of ice to people who desparately needed it, or the guy who gave 50 bucks and then sat home on his ass while somebody else did all the heavy lifting?

From your description, the guy sounds lik a real bastard. I'm with you on your general sentiments. But I've also been around lots of people who think everything should be free.

Posted by: Mark on August 31, 2005 07:00 PM

Rob, some people you just have to drag off and shoot in the head to make them understand how fucked up they are. Me, I'd have put a couple of .44 magnum rounds into each of the guy's tires selling ice for $10.00 a bag. That way things even out. The trip might have cost him close enough to warrant the price of the ice then. Fucking asshole.

Posted by: Assrot on August 31, 2005 07:10 PM

There is a distinct difference between profit and downright hi-jacking and this crook was hijacking.

Posted by: GUYK on August 31, 2005 08:05 PM

I have written about bootlegging Coors Light beer to gullible Southerners back in the day they couldn't get it, for $20 a case (and I'd paid like, $3). I think that's fair, growed adults with their eyes open.

But charging people who are trying to survive for ice or water...well, just stay the fuck home, prick. That is bullshit.

A disaster site is no place to open a fucking store. What's next, set up a stand selling burn cream at a plane crash site? Renting shovels to people in New Orleans to bury their dead family members?.

Mr Ice Truck shoulda got tire ironed, and then I'da handed out his ice to everybody til it was gone, and then kicked him in the gut as I left with my bag.

PS: ATM machines don't work when the power is down.

Posted by: Bane on August 31, 2005 08:33 PM

Could he have sold it for a buck a bag? Two bucks? Three? Without "gouging"?

The principle is the same, its just the price that's being dickered over.

Posted by: Bill on August 31, 2005 09:02 PM

DC Metro charges more for rush hour rides.
Is it just a matter of degree?
I am philosophically inclined to think the guy who gouged has the right to gouge. The market and libertarianism and all that. But by the same token, I'm renting a truck and undercutting his price.
Is $5 a bag not gouging? Is $3?

Trouble, trouble, trouble.

Posted by: BlogDog on August 31, 2005 09:25 PM

The WHOLE F'ing point is ....

If you want to help? Donate to a reputable organization that you know will deliver help where it's needed.

Yes, I absolutely think that ANY increase in the price IS gouging. It's amazing to me what idiots think it's okay to try to turn a buck in a time like this.

If the phrase "tragedy of biblical proportions" conjures up thoughts of dollar signs in your head...Thank God I don't know your sorry ass and stay the f#@* at home. People down South carry guns and they will shoot your ass for much less than that and take your F'ing ice for free. We don't need you, nor do we want you here..

The owners of our local ice company lost power, it's F'ing ICE for God's sake, it's going to melt! They donated every ounce of that frozen water and asked that it be taken to where ever it was needed.

Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people evacuated Louisiana and Mississippi and where do you think they went?? They certainly didn't have time to get very far so they are in neighboring states, counties etc.
There is a phone number being broadcasted across ALL radio stations within the listening area of Katrina to call if they have space in their HOME for someone else to SLEEP and have basic shelter.
I'm damn proud to say that the lines as of right now are inundated with people volunteering to take others into their homes, myself included.
How much do you think we should charge these people?
We could just set a flat rate of $1500 per month and have our mortage paid by these people who have been left homeless due to no fault of their own.
I hope those of you who think this price gouging thing is okay, NEVER find yourself in this sort of situation.

Damn Rob, I'm sorry to take up so much space in your comments but SHIT if these people don't irk the hell out of me.

Posted by: Dawn on August 31, 2005 11:17 PM

I made a comment to Addison and PDB in the "Hurricanes" post a couple of clicks down, but I'll kinda re-state the sentiment here for all you obviously confused objectivist-leaning libertards:

Objectivists (which y'all apparently think you are) are supposed to hate LOOTERS and the looter mentality with a passion.

Bruce and his ilk are nothing more than looters wearing capitalist clothing. They create nothing yet profit from freak disasters. The lowest form of life.

Connie du Toit observed not long ago that she'd rather live next to a patchouli factory than a bunch of hard-core libertarians. If y'all can't interpret your own doctrine any better than that, her sentiment about sums it up for me, too.


Posted by: Anonymous bitch on September 1, 2005 02:11 AM

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with helping people who need help. I've already given to the relief effort, and will give more. If I could, I'd go down and work there to help (I'm not trained nor am I young enough for the effort, even though my employer has asked for volunteers to supplement FEMA's efforts).

That being said, there is nothing wrong with making a reasonable profit on a situation like this. Ten bucks a bag of ice strikes me as extreme too, but what is the price that's appropriate? What's the price of building materials that are needed in a disaster area that aren't going to be there without a little profit incentive? Would you rather not have anyone bringing stuff down there to sell because, let's face it, Dawn seems to want to shoot anyone who wants to SELL anything in a disaster area. Sure as hell, I'd want extra security from people like her. Gotta pay for that too.

Posted by: Bill on September 1, 2005 08:05 AM

I'm not talking about not charging for anything. What I'm talking about are the basic ammenities to sustain life Food, ice to keep it fresh, that sort of thing. Those things shouldn't be price gouged. Sorry.

Non-necessities, we certainly expect to pay fair dollar as anyone else would be expected to do..
What some people don't realize is that the richest people in La and Ms can't even get to their money. Do you think that ATM's work without power or that you can go to the drive thru and make a withdrawal? The bank is gone or flooded at the very least..

Don't make me out to be some sort of freeloader who expects things handed to me. All I'm saying is it's unfair and even cruel to price gouge people for things like food and milk.

Posted by: Dawn on September 1, 2005 09:31 AM

Coverage of gas, truck?: fine
..of the product?: fine
a REASONABLE markup? - careful here (the workers might gotta eat too) - fine...but one must remember there comes a point where "capitalism", if you can call this that, should be accompanied by the courtesy
of the seller holding a gun to to your head while uttering the words "GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING MONEY!."

Sorry, saw a clip of a little girl last night crying and squalling "Help us, please help us" and I'm in a bad fucking mood!

Posted by: James Hooker, ace of aces on September 1, 2005 10:41 AM

Then, Dawn, kindly tell me - What the fuck is "gouging"? Yeah, $10 a bag for ice sucks, but what price doesn't? Ice isn't free you know, it costs money for water and electricity to make it - both in incredibly short supply on the Gulf Coast now. You've also got up to $5 a gallon gas to power the truck (not just the motor but the freezer unit in the truck) to get the ice there in any shape to use. Your local ice company gave away the ice because it was, for all intent and purpose, a loss anyway. You said it yourself, they couldn't keep it! It was either give it away and loose the money or let it melt and loose the money.

Like I originally said, we're just dickering over the price. Remember the old story about a man asking a society maven if she would go out with him for a diamond bracelet, she said yes. Then the man asked her if she'd sleep with him for $20. The woman asked what kind of woman do you think I am? The reply? We've established that, now we're just negotiating the price.

Believe me, $10 a bag for ice would stick in my craw too; but if I had to, I'd pay it. Heard a station in Atlanta was charging $6 a gallon for gas yesterday. The explanation the "expert" gave for it? They didn't want any customers, so they priced themselves out of business until they could get more stock.

Posted by: Bill on September 1, 2005 10:56 AM

James, I understand that. I even agree. I want to help these folks too. But understand that there are costs involved here that DO justify some "gouging". Security, for instance, do you take supplies down there that are saleable (like, say, plywood - often cited as an item that's gouged by politicians after a disaster) and NOT have it secured? Particularly in an area like N.O. that has active, armed looting going on? That justifies a certain level of markup, just as working in a combat zone justifies a certain payhike.

Is there a limit, yup, probably. But where is it?

Posted by: Bill on September 1, 2005 11:05 AM
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