June 16, 2012


The first time I pumped gas at a self-serve station was at the Hess on the corner of Henry Clay Blvd. and Buckley Rd. in the town of Salina, outside of Syracuse. This station sits in a more industrial part of town. I was riding with Grandma City in the Ford Granada she had just purchased. It was a used car from Canada. She advised me that she was only doing 60% of what the speedometer said because the gauges were in metric. 60% of very slow is still very slow. Grandma City had a tendency to drive slow. We were going to a warehouse sale at Fays Drugs on Henry Clay Blvd. There must have been a discount on African Violets or something.

I have probably pumped gas a couple of thousand times since that first time at the Hess station on Henry Clay Blvd. We have a Hess station relatively close by, but there’s a Fastrac station about a mile from the house so we go there. I just filled up the Jeep in preparation for my commute to work in the morning. I don’t like starting out the day with the need of gas. I like to be prepared.

The gas at all of the local stations is 10 to 15 cents higher per gallon than it is in nearby Syracuse or Albany. I once asked a very important person at Fastrac why this was the case and they told me it was because our area doesn’t have any terminals near by and therefore the gas has to be brought in by truck. I thought all gas was brought in by truck. I didn’t mention the fact that River Road, the same road that the Fastrac is on, is lined with huge gas tanks that are marked with signs that indicate it’s a terminal. Today I paid $3.589 a gallon, which is marked down from $3.659 because I have a gimmick card from Fastrac. I’m not a big fan of the gimmick card, but every few cents per gallon helps the budget. When you commute as much as I do, you watch your fuel budget and hope that heaven doesn’t require you to be completely green. My carbon footprint should be getting smaller soon.

I think gas might have been $1.099 that first time I pumped it myself on Henry Clay Blvd. Far from the $0.299 that Goober pumped in Mayberry but even farther from the $3.589 price tag I pumped today. When I was graduating from high school there was some quick reduction of gas prices for a little while during some sort of event in the Middle East. I once paid $0.799 a gallon to fill my 1976 Pontiac Astre. People called it “the Disastre” because it was a Vega in a fancy suit. It got me from point A to point B so I didn’t care so much. It was a really weird green color. When I wore my red snowsuit while driving it I looked like an olive with me in the starring role as the pimento.