As my tank fell below half capacity, I started to plot. I have a number of stations along my commute, and I warned the boss that I might be late if I saw a gas line. But I didn't want to line up until my tank got lower. I couldn't bring myself to get in line with half a tank. I passed a few lines and got to work. In about an hour, a line stretched past our entrance as the Ingles station two stores over received a tanker. Again, I held off. A co-worker took advantage and got in line. He had a full tank in about an hour.
As the day progressed, I started to worry I may have missed my chance. Asheville announced that city offices will close Friday and Saturday. My boss offered to let me work from home tomorrow; I'll simply take my work PC when I leave tonight. As I drove home, I listened to the crackpot radio preacher as he fielded calls about local stations. He announced a tanker was on the way to a particular station. How he got the information, I don't know. Within 20 minutes, he announced the station had to shut down the pumps becuase the line was getting rowdy. Seven police cars were en route, he said. Fifty-five cars were waiting for gas already. He likes to exaggerate, you see. It ifts in with his perpetual end-days rhetoric. I didn't even try it.
I met Your Sister at the lib'ary for a board of education forum for the teachers. Virtually all the audience members were school employees, and the candidates answered questions with this demographic in mind. After, we trotted to the local Mexican restaurant, and the owner said the local Ingles had gas and long lines. The commute had knocked my tank down to a third capacity, and I left to line up.
I got there at 9:30. The line reached around the perimeter of a secondary parking lot and toward the grocery store. Emergency volunteer crews directed traffic, including splitting the line depending on which side our gas tank doors sat on. I got through in thirty minutes, got my eight gallons, and got home less than an hour after I left. I felt good about it. Now I can go to Spartanburg this weekend AND I'll work from home tomorrow.
As I drove to work today, that same store had a gas line, and two BPs had small lines. The good news is that the lines are getting shorter now. But yesterday, it was a bad sight.
This is from the Citizen-Times:
I'm too young to remember the gas shortages of the '70s. The crazy-ass radio preacher was convinced this surpassed that, but those shortages were nationwide. I don't think this panic qualifies. Some stores are offering free snacks for people in line, and that's the kind of PR you can't buy. They'll win over lots of folks.
Your Sis is worried the gas shortages might scuttle the Atlanta trip, but I assured her the gas stations should be better by the middle of next week.
During all this, I took back my bath towel and rug set to Sears (the colors didn't match my new art matting), and bought a new set at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The latter store, surprisingly, doesn't sell sets of towels and rugs, and color matching is a chore. I splurged for the set I settled on, and now I'm covered on this domestic front for the next ten years or so.
I'm using some of your South African curry tonight in my recipe. Don't know which one just yet.
In the News
I'm just saying: If Obama had suspended his campaign on the same day polls showed he had slipped behind by nine points, he'd be accused of cowardice. McCain claimed he was willing to lose and election to win the war. Is he willing to lose the election to rescue the economy? And why can't he debate in primetime when the Senate has adjourned for the day? Move the debates to D.C. if need be.