Sunday, April 23, 2006


Fueling the fire

Yesterday, I went to the April GMCA square dance in Clark, NJ. It was nice to dance to friend, IBM colleague, and fun challenge-square-dance caller Barry Clasper, and to see all the square-dance friends who were there. Barry called a good dance, as he always does.

I also looked forward to getting some "cheap" gas in New Jersey, even though the car wasn't so empty and probably only needed 8 gallons. For readers who don't know the northeast, I should explain that gas prices are much lower in New Jersey than they are in New York, and it's all full-serve to boot — a nice benefit on a rainly, chilly day such as yesterday.

I'd planned to fill up at the last rest area on the Garden State Parkway, just before crossing back into New York. At 11:15 p.m. I arrived there and took the rest area exit... and found lines 10 cars deep at each set of pumps. Sigh. Not wanting to wait, I got back on the parkway and came home. Gas was $2.76/gallon there, compared with $3.15 at the gas stations near my house — 39 cents per gallon less, and only 30 miles away.

I've never seen the lines that long there at that hour of the night. I suppose everyone's responding to the high prices by saving wherever they can, and my guess is that people are making trips into New Jersey just for gas, moreso than they otherwise have. Ah, well; I coulda saved two and a half bucks, so I guess it's one fewer Starbuck's coffees for me now.

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