I pulled into my local servo and spotted an odd sign.

It was a piece of white A4 paper with black printing that was blu-tacked just above the nozzles at the pump. I hopped out of my car and stared at it as the petrol fumes floated up around me.


A sad sign of the times.

I pumped my car full of fuel and headed inside to pay the $70 it had cost me to fill my tank.

As the attendant behind the counter waited for my credit card to clear, I pointed to the sign outside.

“Do people really do that?”

She shrugged and nodded. She seemed tired.

My payment was approved and I wandered back out to my car. I felt sad.

That’s a tough day, when you need petrol so badly you’ll steal it in broad daylight.

You’re going to get caught right?

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ve always liked the faint smell of petrol and feel a happy nostalgia at the servo. Maybe it’s because I remember the bloke at the local fuel station when I was a kid who used to jog out to the car and wash the windscreen while my mum filled up.

I remember when petrol was 49.9 cents per litre. It was probably in the mid 1980s and it’s a long way from the two dollars a litre you pay today. Recently I was speaking to the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association. They’re the peak body representing the interests of the fuel wholesale, distribution and retail industry in Australia and their expert told me that if Russia invades Ukraine, petrol will get even more expensive.

Maybe there’ll be more of those signs stuck up at servos.

Money is a funny thing. And when you don’t have enough, it’s not funny at all.

This week, there’s a lotto jackpot worth $120 million dollars that I heard a woman talking about at my local sports club. She said she hopes a group of friends win it so they can share it around. I guess someone will have the lucky numbers. I think she wanted to win. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t quickly fantasise about what I’d do with a lotto win.

We have a curious relationship with money in Australia.

If you’re a billionaire, most Aussies will pay attention to you.

Clive Palmer was supposed to speak at the National Press Club this week to reveal why he’s spending $100 million dollars on this election, but he’s got “Covid-like” symptoms, so he couldn’t front up. You know what they say, if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything. Get well soon Clive.

Billionaire Andrew Twiggy Forrest will be back in Queensland this week having lunch with the Deputy Premier Steven Miles. Isn’t it strange that we call a billionaire by the nickname he got because he was skinny as a kid?

A bit like multi-millionaire Skroo Turner, the CEO of Flight Centre. Graham Turner has lost a lot of money in this pandemic but with borders reopening he might make it back. His nickname came from a brand of screwdrivers that used to be famous.

Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes tried to buy energy company AGL this week for $8 billion dollars. He hasn’t given up trying to kill coal early, all while looking like a dude who just lost his skateboard in Byron Bay. Somehow his long hair, cap and t-shirt makes him more intriguing. Australians seem to like a rich lister who doesn’t flaunt their cash in clothes.

Last month, a finance survey revealed that the average Australian thought that they’d need to earn $326,000 per year to feel rich. The average Aussie salary is closer to $50,000.


When I was a kid, if you found a two cent coin in the playground, you felt rich. Off you’d trot to the tuckshop to buy two choc-buds.

Extracted in full from: A sad sign of the times: Fuel for thought in a world that’s increasingly under the pump (inqld.com.au)