Bloomington resident Jethro "shot glass" Purvis used to drink a bottle of whiskey every morning at six, followed by a peaceful drive in his green and rust colored '89 Oldsmobile. Most of his drives were in rural areas at a slow speed.
Now he can only go out for drives once a week due to the increase in gas prices.
"I can't afford whiskey and gas," the 68-year-old Purvis said between sips of whiskey he drank from a jug. "I can't give up my damned medicine, so I have to cut down on my morning drives."
Shot Glass was a mechanic for twenty years before retiring without pension. He has become embittered by the recent surge in gas prices. Even though gas has gone down somewhat after peaking in the summer, he still can't afford to take his drunken morning drives.
Purvis, who friends say is like a disease, has always questioned authority
"I'd like to tell those crooks in Washington a thing or two dagnabbit," he said just after polishing off his third jug of whiskey before noon. "They are just trying to eliminate poor people like me!"
Purvis was arrested in July for trying to siphon gas out of the Sheriff's car. When asked how he could do something so stupid, he said "That son of a bitch deserved it anyway for arresting me for drinkin and drivin!"
Henry Alfonso-Clarke Smith Jr. a friend of Purvis', has been affected by the gas prices as well.
"I had to cut out all trips to see friends and family," Smith said. "Now I just have to use my car for work and stuff."
Smith doesn't think Purvis will get by.
"I reckon he'll probably be back on the street in no time," he said. "Either that, or livin' in that piece of shit car he has."
Purvis claims he's never lived in his car, but he likes to sleep in it because of the "damn comfy seats."
While he acknowledges times have changed, he doesn't see a reason why gas has to be so high.
"I remember when you could damn near fill up your car with spare change," he said. "Now you have to pickpocket people just to get a few gallons."
Just before Purvis passed out, he was going to write to his congressman, but then said, "Fuck it, I'll do it tomorrow when the last o' my whiskey's gone."