This morning, on the way to take a cat that doesn't even belong to me to the vet, I stopped for gas. The pump popped up with the price $1.69 per gallon. Now, I distinctly remember driving by this same station earlier in the week and seeing that regular was $1.51, so I glanced up at the gas station sign in case I had accidentally pressed the pump button for "Plus" or "Premium."
I had not. Regular Unleaded is up to $1.69 a gallon.
Now that I have filled my tank, the price will certainly begin to drop again. For the last two months, ever since we moved to a house 2 minutes rather than 20 minutes away from every place we ever go to, it takes us a good two weeks to use up a tank of gas, and I have noticed that gas prices are cycling on a period of exactly one Su-tank.
I am always paying $1.65, only to notice two days later that the price is down ten cents, and a couple of days after that that it has plummeted to less than a dollar and a quarter. But when I fill up, it's back in the buck-sixties again.
I told David I was going to start a new system of filling the tank every time I passed a station with a lower price than the last price I paid, no matter how little gas I need at that time, thus ensuring that the average price of the gasoline in my tank is always lower than the most recent price peak. But probably I won't, really.
As a postive note, though, while I was ruminating on my bad luck re: gas price fluctuations--a topic so engrossing that after filling up I drove off without my receipt or my debit card, so that I had to make an emergency cell-phone call to my bank to block the card--it occurred to me that it has probably been a good 15 years since I have habitually done anything with an empty gas tank except fill it.
I am reminded of this some days when I pull up to a pump that shows the last purchase as $10, or $5, or in one very sad recent incident, $3 (Let's hope they were filling a gas can for their snow blower). Long gone are the days when I put just enough gas in the tank to (hopefully) cover a current trip, or chose between lunch and another $4 worth of Regular Unleaded. Next time I cry poor, I hope my friends will remind me that "can't take that fantasy trip to Disneyworld" is a far cry from "hope the car doesn't run out of gas before I get paid on Friday."Posted by Su Penn at February 7, 2003 12:48 PM | TrackBack