I think someone is spying on me. How else can I explain why, whenever I buy ANYTHING, the price is guaranteed to drop the next day, if not sooner? This works for gas, groceries, clothing, doesn’t really matter.
That’s why I’m convinced someone is following me, just waiting to report back to any business owner that I look ready to give in and buy. I’m not hard to spot. I’m the one with the credit card in hand and the glazed look in my eyes, muttering “Charge It!”
You’d think by now I’d have figured out when stores are apt to fun ‘specials’ and shop on those days, right? You’d be wrong. I NEVER get the urge to buy on days when the stores are running sales. No, it’s quite the opposite. It’s like I’m allergic to money and need to divest of it as fast as I can. (Think my husband would buy that? Probably not.) This especially applies to any gas station owner whose establishment I might be near.
One morning as I drove to a local popular fast food drive-in for my daily gigantic styrofoam container of tea, large enough to fill my gas tank if I could figure out how to make my car run on tea, I noticed that the gas prices had dropped. (Wouldn’t that be great? Anytime our tanks got low we could just brew up another tankful.) I almost dropped my tea in my lap. The price had gone down five cents.
That would normally be good news, but I had broken down the day before and filled up. Of course, the price immediately went up before I had even finished pumping. That’s the way it usually works for me. If I gamble that the price will go down if I wait a few days, the Gas Station Barons will call my bluff and raise it ten cents. Since I’m a lousy gambler, this always costs me dearly.
This is why I’ve come up with the idea for a new game I call ‘Gas Station Roulette.’ Obviously the lottery isn’t panning out. So, here’s how it would work: You get in your car and start driving around town, comparing gas prices between the various gas stations whose owners all try to dupe the trusting public into believing their gas is superior and comes from a better source than the station down the street.
Then you make another circle to see if any have changed their prices. If you live in a large enough city, this could take a few days. It also allows you to see parts of the city you were previously reluctant to drive through unless your car was equipped with bulletproof everything. But now you can’t resist the chance that it might save you five bucks a tank.
I just know the Gas Station Barons are sitting in their luxurious yachts off the Caribbean coast, wringing their hands in delight and twirling their mustaches like an old-time movie villain as they watch cars circling their stations like a band of wagons in an old western, from the remote feed on their laptops.
If the price has been lowered, now you have to decide if you want to take a chance on the price going down even further — or cave, buy a tankful, and watch as the price will surely plummet as soon as you’re finished filling up. Do you think maybe the Barons have figured out how to put a sensor in the holder so as soon as it registers a hang-up, they drop the price? Surely not. Nah. Maybe?
Anyway, if you have a strong enough constitution, a big enough bladder, and enough gas, you might try holding out for a few days. During this time period the gas stations owners will send out a message to each other that Mrs. Harris is playing Gas Station Roulette again and immediately raise the price ten cents just as I pull up to the pump. The sneakier owners will wait until I’ve actually put the nozzle into my tank and then raise the price.
I may as well admit it: I’ll never win at Gas Station Roulette.