Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Never Thought ...

Some of you will remember a blog post for a few months back - if you didn't see it, I'll paste link here: "Those Were The Days." When I wrote and posted that piece, I never thought ...

... Well, this morning on the way to work, I passed a Quik-Trip and immediately noticed today's unleaded regular gas price - $1.59!! (Update: Now $1.49) Okay, so the election is now over and the conspiracy theories don't seem to be taking hold any longer. The price is dropping faster than I've ever seen prices drop ... for anything. Honestly, I can't believe what I'm seeing these days. And it's changing by the day. It seems like just yesterday the prices cracked the $4.00/gallon barrier and they were talking about $5.00 or $6.00 prices by the end of the summer. Well ... it didn't happen, although at the time, it seemed like we were easily headed up, up and away. The fact is, as fast as prices are plummeting now, that's how fast they were shooting up earlier this year. Listen, I'm not complaining here. It feels good to be spending only a third of what I was spending on gas - actually, it feels tremendous. And with the way things are looking with the rest of the economy, the increasing layoffs, the Dow inching below 8,000 for the first time in many years ... it may well be that the less expensive fuel is the only thing keeping this country's act together. I can't imagine what things would look like if fuel prices were too high now, as well.

Anyway, on the way home today, I had to pick up my cleaning and I made the turn at 53rd and Main, where I spotted - yes, yes ... my favorite gas sign, still showing that $1.25 figure. Will we? Can we? Dare I even whisper it? Listen, when the gas price was at $4.00/gallon, I would've scoffed at the very thought of a return to what I can only call "yesteryear" prices. When it then dropped down to the $3.00 level, I still wouldn't have given it a chance - I just figured it was someone playing hanky-panky with the oil price levels - for political advantage. Yes, I'm one of those cynics,I can't lie. Then, when the price started approaching the $2.00 level ... well ... I remember driving past the Quik-Trip sign one morning and I actually saw them changing the price board - where the first digit was moving from "6" to "5" to "4" to "3" to "2" to ... "1!!" What a countdown. I think I pulled my car over to the side to take in that special moment. And that was only about a week and a half ago.

So, now that it's at $1.59, what's to think it won't ... now, I don't want to jinx this. Could it actually break a dollar? A friggin' dollar!? I can't remember the last time gas cost less than a dollar a gallon, can you? I'll have to check that out. I mean, wouldn't that be something? Of course, few of us will have jobs, food prices will continue to soar, and I won't have any place to service my Pontiac Vibe when it needs help - (it's a General Motors/Toyota joint-venture car, so let's just hope the Toyota people let me in the door when I come 'a callin'). But at least the price of gas will be a true bargain, thank God for that. I knew there had to be a silver-lining to all of this.

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