The cheapest I ever recall seeing gas was when I was in high school. Two gas stations on opposite corners had a “war.” And we, the public, were the beneficiaries. The price got as low as 43 cents – when the typically going rate for gas then hovered around a dollar a gallon. I remember adding to my tank in 5 dollar increments.
Naturally, gas prices increased over time. There was a short lived spike right after 9/11. But the steady increase in prices started about three years ago with Hurricane Katrina. That was the first time I saw gas over 3 dollars a gallon. Prices did go down – but it was short lived. And pretty soon, prices were higher than that first spike.
We started seeing signs like this – And the governor of our state even canceled school to save the money school buses burn every day via diesel fuel.
A few weeks ago after Hurricane Ike, there was another spike in gas prices – and we crossed the four dollar threshold.
Which generated signs like this: But now. People here in the South east would gladly pay four dollars a gallon. If we could only find a station with some for sale.
I was too young to pay attention to the gas crisis in the 1970’s. But I do remember the pictures. The pictures of those huge Buicks in line for gas. And I had a very retro moment on Friday night. We headed out to a restaurant for dinner – and we needed to try and find a gas station that wasn’t out of gas. We had no luck on the way there. But when we left – we found a station right away with gas. So, we got in line. There were 10 cars ahead of us for that one pump. At least the same number of cars in line for EACH pump – and I think there were 8-10 pumps at this particular station. Behind us – easily another 10 cars – plus more trying to turn in from the street. It took 2 hours for us to finally reach that pump. And because all the pumps were going…it took a full 15 minutes to fill our car with gas!
We were quite fortunate that we had a peaceful queue. There are a number of news reports about incidents of violence at stations – mostly due to frustrated customers and other customers accused of cutting in line.
Things are so bad here that there were even rumblings of canceling college football games. Which the governor declared “ridiculous.” However, fans were warned that if they can’t make it to the game and home on their tank of gas – they are likely to be stuck. And stuck for a while.
Today, we were out and about. Because I had a full tank. And this is what most stations look like.
And the ones with gas – have quite the queue. So…what about YOU? Is gas plentiful where you live? How much are you paying this weekend? What’s the least you recall paying for gas? Have you ever waited two hours in a line for anything?
Theme song: Rolling Stones - Jumpin Jack Flash (cause it's a gas, gas, gas...)