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Drive-offs are theft, plain and simple

What is happening around here?

I am absolutely appalled and disgusted with the increase in gas drive-offs in our city.

I cannot believe the brazen, unashamed and flippant attitudes of the people who steal gas.

Yes, I said it.

It's stealing.

Our society has reached a point where it honestly believes that if you aren't caught, you haven't done anything wrong.

I don't know about you, but the real test of a person's character comes from what that person does when no one is looking.

We should all strive to have a character of excellence, not of mediocrity, much less one of dishonor.

Have you noticed not only a lack of morals in our society, but also a lack of plain, common courtesy?

Hardly anyone says, "Thank you," "Please," "No, sir," or "Yes, ma'am," anymore.

To me, these are phrases that should be naturally interwoven in our everyday language.

What is so difficult about that?

It's my observation that many people associate being nice with being weak.

How sad.

One of the first places we look is to our young people.

We get angry because we encounter a rude, thankless teen who seems to think that the world owes him or her a free ride through life. There's one big problem with that school of thought, however; kids learn by example.

Speaking of school, let me take this opportunity to thank any teacher who might be reading this.

Most people have no idea what a classroom teacher does every day.

Teachers have to be not only instructional providers, but also counselors, advisors, referees, nurses, psychologists, and, yes, sometimes they have to be moms and dads.

You might not want to hear that, but it's the truth.

I still remember something that Coach Jim Autrey said: "If you'll lie, you'll cheat; if you'll cheat, you'll steal; if you'll steal, you'll kill." That sounds about right to me.

Now, don't get it in your minds that these drive-offs are being done by mostly young people.

The gas station employees with whom I spoke said that this was being done by young and old.

Think about it.

Who would more likely be driving a U-haul or other type of rental truck?

Who would more likely be driving a truck pulling a boat?

That's right.

Adults.

Grown folks.

In other words, people who should know better.

What absolutely makes me gnash my teeth is that the cashiers said some of these people would actually wave to them as they are driving away.

What is wrong with this picture?

And, to the young man in the green truck with the Butler County tag who drove away waving after pumping $3.06 in gas, you are a nefarious, no-class individual.

I doubt you'll even know what "nefarious" means, much less be able to pronounce it.

After discussing this whole matter with Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, I asked him what he thought about the situation.

How many of you have ever seen the south end of a north-bound tomcat?

It's not a pretty sight.

When it comes to stealing, Samson and I think a lot alike.

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via email at regina.grayson@greenvilleadvocate.com.