No I haven't lost my mind. A little while ago, the Toronto Star ran a feature on the Gas Man himself - Dan McTeague and quoted me as saying "I'll probably take some flak for this at the office...but I kind of like the guy". My prediction came true. I did take some flak. So why was I saying nice things about the guy I had spent the better part of 9 years debating on radio, tv and in newspapers? No, I hadn't spent the day sitting in a warm room blowing up air mattresses without a pump. And no, I don't agree with him. Allow me to share...
For those of you wondering who the Gas Man is, please read the Toronto Star article before going further.
The Top 5 Reasons I Like Dan McTeague....kind of.
- He Puts the Energizer Bunny to Shame - While other attention-seeking 'gas price critics' have come and gone over the years, Dan has stuck with it. Some days I think he lives at a gas station parking lot. Seriously. Watch the nightly news and there he is standing at a gas station, staring into the camera with his furrowed-brow with the price sign sitting innocently over his shoulder in the background. Perhaps we should charge him rent...or get him to fill a few cars between interviews.
- We Agree on Transparency - for decades the industry has been claiming that gas prices are competitive and transparent - follow the markets and you'll get the answers you seek. Many studies have backed that up, but few believe. Then when Dan - the leading industry critic - is asked by the Star how he predicts gas prices, he says they are Transparent. Just comes out and says it. In fact, he goes on to say "Frankly, anyone could do it," he said in a telephone interview. "The information is publicly available." Beautiful. Couldn't have said it better myself.
- He's got more magical talent than Criss Angel - Just when he had me on Transparency, he claims that it proves that gas prices are not competitive. Huh? Presto-Changeo - reality is instantly turned on it's head. It's like watching a master magician. You know what he's doing isn't real. But it's still fascinating to watch as he appears to distort reality. While it's just entertainment, I suppose there are still some people who believe Criss Angel can actually walk on water. If you want to be cured of that, sit through his new Vegas show. Believe me.
- Five is Enough - He and his wife have 5 kids. As a father of two myself, this one's a freebie. I have to respect that. But how does he find the time to be on top of gas prices everyday when I struggle to keep this blog updated once a week?
- His Other Work - Once you look past the gas price stuff, he's actually accomplished a few things in Ottawa, which is no small feat. He introduced a Private Member's Bill that made it a criminal act to flee the police which passed unanimously. Putting bad guys in jail is something I support. I'm going out on a limb on this one.
So, even though I don't agree with most of/virtually everything Dan McTeague says when it comes to gas prices, I do kind of like the guy. That doesn't mean I won't go after him with every fibre of my being the next time someone puts us on a discussion panel together. It just means I'll do it with respect. And I'll be watching for trick wires behind his cape.
Photo Credit: jikido-san