Gas Pump Chronicles

I heard a rumor this morning that gas prices were going to go up 22 cents a gallon, so since I needed gas and since I always wanted to start a panic, I raced to the pump. I was sure I would find a long line there, as happened in New Jersey yesterday (that’s where I heard the rumor).

There were no lines; everyone was out trying to find rice, apparently.

I often dig the ATM receipts out of the trash at the bank, just so I can see the balances that people have in their accounts. Now I’ve developed a new hobby: Seeing what they’re paying for gas and what blend their pumping.

There’s no science here. Just eavesdropping.

A Ford Explorer:


Honda Civic:


Ford Taurus:


Prius. She might’ve only pumped to $30, however. People still do that, but good luck trying to get the thing to stop right on the .00.


For the record, there’s no 22-cent price jump coming today. New Jersey was just catching up to the rest of the county.

  • So I was at the gas station today and there was this dude going around taking photos of all the pumps.

  • Lesli

    I pumped my first >$50 tank yesterday. Don’t know why the $48 from a couple of weeks ago was easier to ignore, but hitting fifty bucks sure made me take notice. Guess the old marketing gimmicks have me conditioned pretty well.

    Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be nice if gas companies would drop that extra 9/10 of a cent they charge per gallon? Based on this site I suppose it’s not too likely; they figure this tactic produces about $141 billion annually in additional revenue–and that’s just in the US.

  • Bob Collins

    //So I was at the gas station today and there was this dude going around taking photos of all the pumps.

    I was waiting for the little speaker to come alive: “Pump 6, why are you taking pictures??? No, Pump 4!~ Pump 11. Pump 7.”

    Of course I wouldn’t be able to make out a word of what he was saying; it would all sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown specials.

  • Lesli

    My bad on the math from my earlier post: $141 million per month = $1.7 billion annual revenue estimate.

  • Julia

    I want to know where the honda got 14 gallons for $25!

    I filled up my Mazda protege’ for $43. There may not be a general panic, but it makes my heart race.