Today is officially the very first time in my life I've ever made a U-turn to get gasoline because of the low price. (Ironically, notice today's date: Friday the 13th.)
In the past, I've made U-turns for gas after realizing that I'd just passed the last gas station for several miles, or because I couldn't turn into my favorite station directly, or because I was avoiding a Chavez-sponsored station, but on the whole, I don't mind paying a penny or two a gallon more to avoid a line at the pump. I figure, 10 minutes of my time spent in line is worth more than $0.02 per gallon. Our tank only holds 25 gallons, so, at most I'd be saving all of fifty cents.
I still remember, soon after I got my license, when gas broke $1.00 per gallon, and (thankfully) it just seemed to hover around that range for years. I never would have imagined a $3.00 per gallon increase in such a short amount of time.
So, on to the story: I drove my wife's mini-van over to Mear's Automotive to see how they were doing on diagnosing the (myriad) problems plaguing my 87 Cherokee. From there, I took the (expired) tag off of it, and up to the courthouse. There I got the registration straitened out, and headed back to John's shop. (John Mears is not only the owner of the largest independent vehicle repair company in Broward county, but he's also a Believer. Needless to say, for the second reason, he gets all of my car-care business.)
In the course of driving around town... with the needle on the van's gas gauge drawing ever-nearer to the low side of the "E" I saw prices ranging from $4.11 to $4.19 per gallon -- for plain-old regular unleaded gasoline! Knowing I'd eventually have to bite the bullet and pay more than I wanted for the gas, I was holding out until the "Low Gas" idiot light came on. Just before I got back to John's shop, I saw a Marathon gas station I've never seen before. It had no line, and the sign was hard to see, but as I passed it I saw "$3.99" was posted and the station was nearly empty! Of course, the fill-up still cost over $80 dollars, but my quick U-turn and fill-up at that station saved me between $2.80 and $4.60!
I'm glad I don't drive a tractor trailer for a living, but oh for the days of $1-per-gallon gas.
PS -- as I headed home, I turned on a local talk radio station. The host received a call from a Tampa resident that had to get gas in Orlando, and the closest station to the Orlando airport was charging $5.40 for regular unleaded!! I know they're paying $9 in Europe, but $5.40 in the US?? I'm going to have to raise the rates I charge people (to cover the gas I'm using to get to work).
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