Let's see, there were four horsemen, a bunch of plagues, and...
According to AAA, 85% of the gas stations in my area were closed yesterday. I believe it. Today I waited in line for an hour an a half for the privilege of paying $4.94 a gallon (for 87 octane regular, mind you). Two hours later the only other open gas station for miles had closed. The one I went to was still open, probably because they started out the day rationing 15 gallons per car.
People in other parts of the country point and laugh at us and say we are victims of our own panic. That may be true of the prices and lines, but I'm pretty sure Mapco, Shell, Exxon, all the major distributors other than Citgo (which I refuse to patronize) and Kroger closed because they had no gas, not because they were panicked. As for the price gouging, what choice do I have, exactly? If I'm going to get my daughter to work and purchase food for the family I have to have a car with gas in it.
Knowing I'd be waiting in line, but not knowing for how long, I brought a book, my Nintendo DS and the menus and grocery list for next week. I finished the menus and list. I read two chapters of my book, but it was so boring I was afraid I'd lapse into a coma and lose my place in line. I played a little on the DS, but forgot to bring the car charger, so I didn't play long. Sitting there, I felt like I should be wearing platforms and listening to a Bee Gees 8-track tape. I'm ever so thankful I didn't run out of gas while sitting in line.
The Kroger employees were directing traffic on their own time (aka off the clock; without being paid; for FREE) and doing an excellent job. They were friendly, courteous and kept the lines from blocking traffic in and out of the shopping center. The customers were well behaved for the most part. There were several that were angry, noisy, rude and belligerent. A fist fight broke out when one guy wanted more than 15 gallons and by golly, he was gonna take it! I dislike this city intensely.
They tell me it's gonna get better. I hope it gets better FAST. I do not want to be in this city when the end comes!