Recent reports about the price of fuel set to rise in time for Christmas have, on the whole, been met with a groan and shrug from most folk.
There have certainly not been reports of a mad dash to forecourts to fill up before the new costs have kicked in.
Either everyone is missing a trick or, when it comes to fuel, we can’t be bothered to save a few quid.
But what if the price of alcohol was to rise in a few days’ time? Would there be a rush to fill up to ensure the party season goes out with a bang?
Forty years ago this happened, and it was chaos.
With a VAT rise looming, on December 15 1976 the Tele reported: ‘With the mini-Budget only hours away, shops selling liquor have been doing a roaring trade.
‘The average whisky sale is six bottles, but some customers have taken two cases.
‘At Peter Dominic’s in Dundee one customer paid out £468.17 and Agnew’s have had orders of £200.
‘In the more expensive types of alcohol, brandy has been in great demand, as have malt whiskies. Liqueurs are also very popular.’
‘The manager at Super-Hilltown said things were almost out of hand.
‘They had to open at 8am instead of nine as people were queuing outside.’
The Tele reported that the best sellers were rum, Scotch, Bacardi and vodka, with one customer spending as much as £227 – a big amount 40 years ago.
“We expected a rush but this is ridiculous,” added the shop manager.
Another said: “Folk say there is no money about, but that seems to be far from the case – although I’m not complaining.”
The lesson from history is one that may be worth remembering during this intoxicating party season: when it comes to alcohol, logic goes out of the window.
Another lesson from history is that, regardless of the era, people do really kind things.
Over the years, the Tele’s letters page has been filled with examples of acts of kindness.
On December 15 1976 we ran a letter from Margraet T J Grant, secretary of the Brittle Bone Society.
‘Thanks to the old lady who came to my temporary house at Brantwood Avenue one day last week when it was icy.
‘She struggled along the slippy roads to find me and hand in an envelope containing £30.
‘She would not give me her name nor come in for a heat.
‘She asked me to use the money to help with the aims of the Brittle Bone Society.
‘I assure her of my gratitude.
‘Surely one day our wishes will come true, and children will only know the joy Of breaking wishbones not their own bones.’
Let’s hope the giver went on to enjoy a great Christmas in 1976.