Conspiracies — it’s all in how you look at them

Last night, Mr. Bookworm pointed out to me that gasoline prices have started to rise again. “They fall right before an election and go back up again after. If that isn’t a Republican conspiracy, I don’t know what is.”

I told him that this is a regular annual cycle, with prices falling after Labor Day and rising again as winter approaches. No dice. It’s still a conspiracy. I told him that no less an oracle than NPR had done a story debunking the conspiracy myth and pointing to larger economic forces. A slight hestitation but then, no, it’s definitely Republican market manipulation.

I readied my last shot: Maybe gas prices went up because the Democrats won, I said. Maybe they went up because Big Oil is trying to insulate itself against hearings and Global Warming initiatives. That did it. No more murmurings about conspiracies. Even the best conspiracy theory will yield to overwhelming factual data — at least if your opponent in argument is as intelligent as Mr. Bookworm.