Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What does that have to do with the price of gas in America?
A tale of two gas stations.

So, right after Katrina hit, and people further south in Alabama were worried about their lives and homes, up here in northern AL, we were worried about important stuff like gas prices. (Funny where we put our priorities.) Anyway, right about the time gas prices went up about $1 overnight, I was searching for a gas station whose prices hadn't gone up yet (I drive an hour and a half one way to work, so I go through a tank in about three days). I found this little place on the edge of Town Creek, AL that still had gas for $2.47, which was pretty exciting because I hadn't seen a place for less than $2.70 all morning. So I got in the shortest line behind an elderly gentleman in a white pickup truck and waited .

And waited.

And waited.

While it took everyone else about 3 or 4 minutes to pump, pay, and drive off, it must have taken him at least 10. So, hoping that the price would hold, and nervous like I had 4 cups of coffee (I just get tense sometimes), I finally got to the pump when he pulled away. The price was still $2.47. I put the nozzle in my tank and let out the breath I was holding when it still didn't change. I squeezed the nozzle, and...nothing.

Of course, when I went in to ask why it wouldn't work, I received the answer I knew was coming. I would have to wait - she was increasing the prices. I almost left on priniciple, but I needed gas so I paid my $2.74 without a smile, and left, vowing to never go back. I wasn't rude, but I wasn't very nice, so if I had it to do over again - I'd pray real hard.

But today I was given a better story. Running on fumes, I pulled into a gas station in Decatur, ready to pay my $2.75 (pretty good - $.12 less than the place I almost stopped at in Muscle Shoals a few miles back). But this woman comes running out, and I'm thinking, "Now what? I'm not going to be able to use my debit card and I don't have any cash." Yeah, I'm a positive thinker. She ran out and asked me to wait a few minutes because they're in the middle of dropping the gas prices. So I waited a few minutes, paid my $2.69 a gallon at the pump, went inside and thanked her and went on my merry way.

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