First it was bog roll and pasta shortages. Now people are panic-buying petrol to round out the post-pandemic/Brexit apocalypse.
It’s a suboptimal situation but an effective ad campaign for electric cars or, indeed, any other mode of transport that doesn’t run on fossil fuels.
And as with any suboptimal situation, you’ll find Brits making mirth – like 26-year-old Gus Dolphin who filmed himself on kiddie video app TikTok riding a horse into a petrol station forecourt mocking the panic-buying masses.
To the tune of a popular football chant, Gus sings: “Queueing for petrol, queueing for peeeeetrol, queueing for petrol but I’m on a horse. I’m on a horse, I’m on a hooooooorse, I don’t need petrol ‘cos he runs on carrots. He runs on carrots, he runs on carroooooooots, I don’t need petrol ‘cos I’m on a horse.”
If you’re not British, live under a rock, or have simply transcended the need to combust the liquefied remains of sea creatures from millions of years ago, the issue is that the pandemic, combined with the perfect storm of Brexit and IR35, has left the UK short on HGV drivers – by about 100,000, according to the Road Haulage Association – and the supply chain in a parlous state.
As we reported in August, this meant McDonald’s was unable to serve milkshakes (heaven preserve us). Now the problem has spread to tank trucks. While the government insists that there is no shortage of fuel, there appears to be a marked difficulty getting it to petrol stations and the customer.
- Oh the humanity: McDonald’s out of milkshakes across Great Britain
- How many days of carefree wiping do you have left before life starts to look genuinely apocalyptic? Let’s find out
- As Australia is gripped by bog roll shortage, tabloid says: Here, fill your dunny with us
- Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores
Seeing as the station was in Thames Ditton, Greater London, The Register is surprised that Gus survived his prank unscathed, but he was able to speak to the MyLondon news website afterwards, telling them it was a dare after he pulled off a similar stunt on a bike.
“My friend posted the first video on Twitter as a joke and it went semi-viral. It had a few million plays on different platforms,” he said.
“Then I joked about doing it on a horse and all my friends said, ‘how will you find a horse?’
“It was challenge accepted. Horse called Ranger found, ridden and a viral song has been born.”
He added: “Although I am mocking panic-buying, I do appreciate the stress the petrol crisis will have put on people around the UK and I do feel for those people.”
The sad fact is that a lot of us need petrol – whether it’s for getting to work, taking the kids to school or childcare, or doing the weekly shop – and those less inclined to queue for hours just to stay topped up will be looking nervously at their fuel dials as the crisis rumbles on.
That said, panic-buyers should be always be mercilessly mocked. ®