You know it. I know it. And the oil companies know it.

And they aren't even kissing us beforehand. Collusion, greed, gouging. Take your pick.

The price of oil falls. The price of gas rises. And we are held hostage.

One morning last week, the guy working at my local gas station told me he just received a call to reduce prices by two cents a litre. But he was also told that evening the price would jump by 10 cents. What clairvoyance from the oil companies.

What can we do? Not much it seems. Except drive less. Boycotts of certain companies don't seem to work. Some people say we shouldn't fill up. Just put in 10 or 20 bucks at a time.

Shell closed its East End Montreal refinery because it knew that reducing 13 percent of eastern Canada's capacity would drive prices up.

They tell us flooding is to blame. Or it's the crisis of the week in the Middle East… or this, or that…but every Wednesday we seem to do the same dance.

Now the federal government says it will call in the oil barons for a tête-à-tête to get an explanation. But don't expect much to happen.

Everyone has their hands in your pockets and our governments are the worst, taking about 40 cents a litre.

Then there are the crude producers, refiners and retailers. Unregulated speculators in the gasoline market are making things worse.

It's a cash cow for Quebec City and Ottawa. So don't be fooled by any attempt by any government to put this genie back in the bottle.

Because your money is easy money.

Youth driving curfew: get 'er done

Driving is a privilege not a right.

And I cannot understand why our Quebec Transport Minister was so quick this week to dismiss a recommendation from a coroner.

It all stems from the terrible deaths of four young men in Drummondville. I won't call it an accident because it's not an accident when you are dead drunk and driving 140 km/h in a 50 km/ zone.

Coroner Yvon Garneau says young drivers should have a curfew. I agree. Why?

Because they cause the most accidents. A late-night driving curfew seems entirely reasonable. Maybe it's not fair. Life isn't fair. This has nothing to do with rights. It's about reducing risk and keeping everyone safe as well. What does the minister not understand?

Gaga for gambling

Finally, the dumbest idea of the week. Loto Quebec is paying $300,000 to Lady Gaga for rights to her song Poker Face.

They say they want to tap the youth market. What it really means is that more kids will get hooked on gambling.

Loto Quebec likes to portray itself as pure as the driven snow. With all of its self-serving publicity about how it helps problem gamblers.

Kind of like tobacco companies promoting stop-smoking programs.

So pay a small fortune for a song from one of the best-known artists on the planet. And calling it marketing.

I call it a dangerous game.