I Sold My Guitar to Pay For Gas
Sitting outside Fatz Cafe in Asheville, NC, we were told about this fuel “crisis” by an eager ten-year old boy. Before he spoke I remember thinking, a 10-year old eating a full plate of ribs… either it’s his birthday or something’s really wrong. He and his mother were supposed to go to Dollywood with the rest of their family at the beginning of this beautiful weekend, but replaced the trip with a local conciliatory lunch in wake of this soon-to-be apocalypse.
We had a busy day ahead of us, first heading to Winston-Salem, a good 150 miles from where we were staying. I thought perhaps we wouldn’t have anything to worry about since our Volkswagen “defeat-device-loaded” Jetta TDI is diesel, but I still wanted to play it safe. We stopped at a Citgo just on the East side of Asheville.
As is customary with diesels, at least in this country, the single pump is shoved between two gas stalls and has no credit-card slot to prepay. I flip up the handle, and within a few seconds of it not working, a man shouts from the front door. “you gotta prep the… “. Of course, as I wasn’t expecting him to be speaking to me, I reply with the most irritating of American replies…”Sorry, what?” At least I apologized. He yells louder, “You gotta pre-pay!”. Oh, right.
Obviously stressed, I ask him “so…how’s your day going?” He says, it’s been unbelievably busy. At least, that’s the censored gist of his comments. I ask if prices are going up, and he just shakes his head and says “I’m keepin' prices the same till we run out.” I poke a little more for information and say, “do you have plenty of gas with this whole… leak thing?”. He says, “We got enough gas to last until 3:00pm, as long as we don’t get rushed. They sayin’ it’ll be five to seven days before we get more.” I look at my Note 4 and see that it’s 1:47pm.
Since we have a full tank now, and our car gets almost 600 miles to the tank, we don’t really worry about anything for the rest of the trip to Winston-Salem. Our show goes off without a hitch and soon enough we are back on the road. Being on the interstate, it was pretty easy to keep a watch on what was going on. Prices East of the mountains were around $2.20, and through the mountains towards Knoxville were as low as $1.89. No price gouging seems to be occurring, though I have no idea if these places actually have gas for sale. We refuel in some nondescript and continue driving home.
An article on my phone says that the states affected were Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, and Tennessee. I read more in several other articles that say “gas prices may go up 40 cents a gallon in most affected states”, “it may take a week to repair the leak”, “the pipeline has temporarily been rerouted to a B-channel pipe”, and “oil-tankers working overtime to quell fuel-concerns.” I conclude from all of this, these people have it under control, and there will be no real threat of not being able to find fuel. I drive for another four hours, pull over, and recheck my phone. Apparently, while I’ve been gone, Nashville came to a completely different conclusion.
It’s 4:00am this morning…and NPR says nothing ever good comes at 4am. I see Facebook posts from the night before. “Where can I find gas?” “Are all the stations in Franklin out-of-gas?!” “Nashville has entered Thunderdome!”…one of the more humorous Twitter posts. Now articles read that Bellevue, Franklin, and East Nashville are bone-dry. Some of the more expensive downtown stations have a bit of fuel left. Lucky for me I live in Madison, “beautiful” motor-mile they call it. Here if we run out of gas, I’m sure we can just syphon it from another vehicle…haha, um…only half joking.
There is obviously a massive disconnect between what I concluded earlier and what’s going on in Nashville…right?
29 minutes ago, “Asheville is running out of gas.”
The next article…”Why gas prices are rising - 6 ways to prepare for $5 per gallon prices”.
The article after that, “Alabama gas prices could rise 10-15 cents from oil spill.”
Wait… what? Last time I checked $2.00 a gallon plus 10 cents is not $5.00. It must be the new math. That’s a whole other topic I just don’t get. One thing is for certain, either this gas “crisis” is going to blow over like every predicted apocalyptic event or I’m going to be selling guitars to pay for gas.
Nope. You forgot. My car takes diesel…