I bought gas yesterday. An uninteresting event, I agree. I drive a small fuel-efficient car and the cost was over forty dollars for twelve gallons of gas. Now, I know a lady never tells her age, but, I remember when my sister and I were in college and we searched our purses for a quarter so we could buy enough gas to get home. Believe it or not, gas was ten cents a gallon. Not only that, but an attendant would pump your gas for you, wash your windows and check your oil and fluid levels, and the air pressure in your tires. This was expected service for the purchase of gas at ten cents per gallon.
Another thing about gas stations, they always had a mechanic on duty. Granted the mechanic was probably the kid that dropped out of high school because he could not read a complete sentence. But, he was the guy you went to when your car would not start after school. While we struggled to get through college to get a decent job, probably as a secretary or a teacher, the high school drop out was working as a mechanic making more money then we would ever dream of earning.
Not very many years later, gas shot up to fifty cents per gallon and everybody was shocked. The media had a field day telling us that the world was running out of oil, and we would very soon have to find alternative sources to fuel our vehicles. People, in a state of panic, and not thinking very clearly, lined up for miles just to buy a tank of gas for unbelievably high price of fifty cents per gallon. Reporters walked down the line of waiting automobiles talking to the poor unfortunate drivers caught in this frenzy.
With this jump in price, gas stations were being replaced by convenience stores. They were such a convenience. They no longer had attendants to pump your gas, you had to pump your own. Forget having somebody wash your windows, or check your oil. That service went to the wayside with the “convenience store" and high priced gas. And the drop out opened a mechanic shop and did not sell gas. His employees were all rude, know-it-all technicians with college degrees. The wrench was replaced by a high tech computerized thing-a-ma-bob. The technician's degree and state license proving he/she passed the state certification exam, are hanging on the wall in the computerized office. Just in case you were wondering if he/she is qualified to touch your outlandishly expensive computerized vehicle.
©2008 Sue Fulton