Monday, September 15, 2008

We Run on Gasoline

Or, here is my stupid gas story from this weekend.

Last Friday morning, I get a call from my dad right after I get into work. One of his good friends does something with propane (maybe a supplier? I'm unclear) and that good friend has a fleet of trucks (he must be a supplier) and he's already being quoted gas at some ungodly price.

So my father advises me to get gas before Ike hits. I tell the aforementioned dad that I'm on the scooter, but I've already heard similar stories on the radio, so when I get home, I'll fill up the car.

I'm like a boy scout: I like to be prepared.

Friday evening, I get home and head to the gas station a block from my house. It's still got a great price on the sign and is surprisingly empty. And then I realize that's because all its gas is gone.

The station across the street is already a teeming, sprawling madhouse, so I head down the street aways to another station. The price seems reasonable and though there's an accident right in front of this gas station, it doesn't seem too terribly busy.

So I pull in and wait. It's going slow because an inordinate amount of people are having to prepay inside and I almost leave. Then I see other people swiping their credit cards outside like nothing's wrong. I stay.

Finally I get up to a pump and realize that this particular one has a broken screen. I'm feeling invested at this point (and it's not like it's going to be better anywhere else) so I go inside and prepay $30 worth and hope that amount will get me enough gas but not too much (I had more than a quarter of a tank at the time).

I get back to the pump and put the 89 nozzle in my gas tank. Nothing happens.

I go for the 91 nozzle. Still nothing (except I begin to curse like a sailor).

I try the 93, which is over $4 a gallon. But then again, I've already pre-paid so what am I going to do about it? There's a tense moment when I think that is gone, too, but it slowly lurches to life and I get a few precious gallons.

Not that I'm happy about it.

The AP is reporting that gasoline prices went up to $5 a gallon in some places because of the fear of gas supply shortages and a disruption in fuel production.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy: People hear there is going to be a run on gas, so there's a run on gas. And we're so dependent on it; of course a legitimate fear about supply disruption is going to cause mass panic.

I'm just glad I wasn't one of those people filling up extra gas cans. (Of course, if Ike had done more damage, maybe I would be upset that I wasn't one of those people.)

Today's my carpool day, but tomorrow I'm back to the scooter.


Bianca said...

I got gas on Thursday night and it was only $3.52! And there was no wait. Lucky me!

BTW, I don't know what gas prices are like in your hood but I passed some places in Raleigh (on the way to pick beans) with prices as high as $3.99! It's only $3.72 in Midtown...just so ya know. Don't buy gas in Raleigh. Then again, I don't know why anyone would even go to Raleigh (unless they were picking lima beans).

autoegocrat said...

Does the title of this post come from a song? It seems like I've heard that exact line in a song, but I can't quite place it. Clutch maybe?

marycash said...

Bianca — I hate lima beans, but I've found some okay gas prices in Raleigh before.

Of course, while I was pumping gas in Raleigh one evening, probably after hitting up the skating rink, an elderly black gentleman suggested I should be getting home because "it's getting late."

And that made me wary of stopping there for gas ever again.

marycash said...

Auto — It might come from a song, but if so, it's entered my consciousness without me knowing about it.

It just seemed like a good turn-of-phrase with multiple intended meanings.

kalisa said...

You sure they were actually OUT? And not selling for a much higher price the next morning? That's what stations in my neighborhood did.

marycash said...

The first one I went to had plastic bags over all the pumps.

And the second one, well, I pumped the lower grade gas and nothing happened, so they better have been out.

SixtesBassPlayer said...

I got lucky. I filled up at the Exxon at Ridgeway and Quince at lunch Friday and it was 3.47. I don't listen to the Radio much (Ipod's and such) so I didn't even know gas was going up. The BP accross the street said 3.79. I thought that was strange. On the way home for work Firday I noticed that the Exxon at Winchester and Riverdale had a jam getting in. I figured I better listen to the radio and see what the heck was going on. Silly me.
Well on Tuesday I filled up again. I have a long commute. There was still gas to be had. Ha! I think this is jus legalized gauging. Maybe it's time for a scooter.

Anonymous said...

Picking beans.... getting gas... Hmmm... Nevermind; I'm not going there.