Okay, it was getting toward lunch time, but still this was bizarre. Where I get gas is affiliated with the largest grocery store in the area. You get reward points for shopping with them; these points give you extra coupons, discounts on merchandise, and money off when you buy gas. But that still didn't account for the volume of cars.
To say I was stunned would be an understatement. What's going on? Did I miss the memo about the zombie apocalypse? Is there a reason everyone is suddenly filling up? Am I having an Austin Powers moment and been transported to the 1970s?
I went to get dog food instead, then came back around the mall in the hope that whatever the rush was, it was over by now. It wasn't. In fact, it was worse, though I managed to get in a shorter line--only five deep--and settled in to wait it out. I had a short debate with myself about leaving--I was below a quarter tank, but I could get home and back down the mountain again tomorrow with no trouble.
Right about then the attendant came to my window. I gave him my points card, credit card and told him to fill it up. (Oregon law says you can't pump your own gas. An inexplicable law that is totally annoying most of the time...unless it's howling rain or 105 degrees).
So the car gets filled and the guy hands me the receipt. I stare in disbelief. He looks at me, asks if something is wrong. I stammer, no, no, everything's fine and leave in a daze.
I drive a Chevy Blazer. It's a great, reliable SUV, but it does love chowing down on gas. I'm used to spending anywhere from $45 to $60+ when I fill up.
Not only were the prices unbelievably low--less than $2 for mid-grade--but I got an additional 40 cents off with my points. I actually filled the car under $25. I can't remember when gas prices have been so low. In fact, I feel a sudden urge to get back in the Blazer and drive to the coast, or San Francisco, or up north to visit my sister, because hey, I can get two tanks for the usual price of one! I could drive across the country, go to Canada, call the BFF and tell her to pack her bags...
Yikes! Wild abandon is a dangerous thing...