Friday, September 12, 2008

I've Never Cried Over Gas...

I've never cried over gas but this afternoon just about did me in. You see, with Hurricaine Ike bearing down on Texas, a few of the local gas stations took it upon themselves to pre-emptively raise prices...'cause, you know, there could be a short supply in the future. People around here began to panic when they got word that some stations bumped up their prices, and chaos ensued.

As luck would have it, my gas light came on when I was headed back to work from my lunch break. Not wanting to be late, and not realizing people were flipping out over gas already, I figured I would stop after work for gas. BIG MISTAKE! When I got off work I drove to station after station hoping for even a gallon of gas. Many already had their pumps shut down because they were sold out, while those that still have gas have very long lines. I haven't seen lines down the road like that since the '70's. Eventually I realized that I was going to run dry before I could A) find a station with gas or B) wait through a line. To make things worse, people were driving around like maniacs looking for gas, so traffic was terrible. Seriously, we are our own worst enemies!

As I'm having this "holy-crap-I'm-going-to-run-out-of-gas!" revelation, I realize that I'm also not going to be able to pick up my younger daughter after school. I was stuck in heavy traffic, unable to get gas, possibly not going to make it home, and I can't get to my daughter. As I said, I've never cried about gas before but at that point my hands began to shake and the tears started to form in my eyes. I called my older daughter to see if she had a ride, and to ask if they could pick up her sister as well. Easy solution to part of the problem, right? Not exactly, you see most places these days will only release a minor to the adults whose names are on file. Since my older daughter is under 18 she is not on the 'approved' list for pick-up, and the other adult on the list is a good friend of mine who was in line at a station across town.

I made it home and put in a call to the after-school folks and the girls arrived home a short time later. My friend, who was in line at the station, will send her husband over with a gas can as soon as reasonably possible. Sometime after that, when the stations have gotten their tankers in, and the frenzy is over, I will go out and get some gas. If it weren't 91 degrees of hot (and humid) outside I would walk to the store and buy some ice-cold beer. I may go ahead and do that anyway. And yes, I will be more careful in the future....I hope!

11 comments:

scaramouche jones said...

Let's see how long it takes them to reduce the prices again

Mahala said...

They went ape noodles over gas here too. Craziness.

Significant Snail said...

Mouche: prices are quicker to go up than to go down. Supposedly the state agency that regulates the industry will punish price gougers..but the industry folk just say that the prices were driven up by consumers, not a shortage. Always some excuse.

Mahala: it's sick, isn't it? Things don't get this bad when we have a storm actually headed towards us.

For now I'm stuck calling stations, hoping they get a truck in over the weekend.

RisibleGirl said...

I'm sure glad things worked out OK. I've been in similar situations and I know how stressed out that has made me.

I get really mad at people (gas stations this time) that take advantage of situations. They're no better than the looters.

Significant Snail said...

risible: in a way it is like looting - it's a selfish behavior. Most people around here wouldn't need a full tank unless we were evacuating or there were a true shortage. Why not take less than a full tank when you can see that cars are lined up down the road?

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Ugh, how stressful for you! I would have cried too. And then I probably would have killed someone. And then I'd wind up in prison penning my sob story which would become a best seller, making millions of dollars but not being able to enjoy it from the confines of my cell, then questioning my behavior the day I took it out on a little old lady just trying to cross the street. For the rest of my life.

But I'm glad YOU'RE ok.

Significant Snail said...

NGIP: Hmmm...murder, prison..I think you're onto something there!

I got a ride to Lowes today, bought a gas can, etc. I wound up paying $5.36/gallon for gas. Many stations don't know when they'll get a tanker in so I filled my tank about halfway (5.36!!) and hope it lasts a while!

Sure glad I'm not in Texas....

happyian said...

I don't have a car
and I live in Chicago
where it has been and will be mild and rainy
for the next couple days

so i face my own problems of getting places with out having to wrap my self in some kindof plastic
wrap

however
in the rain
you can't see me cry,
so i guess i got you there.

Significant Snail said...

happyian: yeah, no rain to hide my tears. I'm sure you have better mass transit than we've got here, too. I should move within walking distance of my job and my kids schools...

ESA said...

You know, it was all over the news that the Bush administration was promising to "watch" gas prices as a result of Ike. So, I guess they did... but it didn't help... oil companies still raised prices in areas where the storm wasn't even going to hit...


It's not logical to blame consumers for high prices that gas station owners jack up... why is it OUR fault for wanting to buy gas (as you were trying to do -- how do you know everybody else wasn't in the same pickle as you, with an empty tank or trying to get home?)

To me the actions of the gas stations/oil companies are far more reprehensible than those of drivers wanting to buy gas.

No Cool Story said...

UGH! That makes me so mad.

You can report price gouging at the DOA's site.