Friday, January 14, 2005

That bloated feeling

I think the gas tank in my truck is suffering from bloating.

I stopped today on my dinner break to fill up the tank on the truck set a new record for amount of fuel my ol' gas guzzler was able to guzzle.

I put nearly 19 gallons of fuel in the tank (18.7 gallons to be precise). Which was odd, because I've never put that much of fuel in the tank before and I've owned the truck for nearly 10 years now.

I'm one of those drivers that doesn't bother to go to the gas station until the low fuel warning light goes on. If that sucker every goes out, I'm so going to find my ass stranded on the side of the road somewhere.

My gas gauge doesn't read real well anymore. It not shows me there is more fuel in the tank than is really there. A year or two ago I got the thing fixed, because after about 80 to 90 miles the gauge would drop to empty. The only time the little bastard worked is when the tank was full. So, the only way I knew when I was really getting low on gas was by the warning light, or by the odometer. So, one time while getting my radiator repaired I mentioned the problem with the gas gauge. I ended up paying more to fix the fucking gauge than it cost to fix the radiator, and the gauge is still off.

But I digress.

When I first got the truck, and ran it down to fumes, I could pump about 17 gallons into the tank. I thought I had about a 17-point-something gallon tank. So I about freaked out when I'd hit the 17 gallon mark on the gas pump. I knew I had been pushing my luck a little too far.

This was back in the days when you could actually get gas for less than $1 a gallon. Those days are long gone, and here in the Palm Springs area the price of gas is always quite a bit higher than most of the rest of Southern California. We are currently giddy about the fact that you can now find gas for less than $2 a gallon for the first time in Lord knows how long.

But the odd thing is, the more expensive gas is, the more gas it seems to take to fill the tank.

So, I can only assume that the fuel tank on my truck has swollen in the desert climate. Maybe the heat has make it expand or something. Because what other explanation could there be? It couldn't be that gas station pumps are actually cheating me, and other like me, out of even more money than the gas companies are extorting us out of, could it?

No, couldn't be.

Because there are people who check those pumps to make sure they are accurate. I know because I've seen the little stickers they put on the pumps to tell us so! Although I've never in my entire life actually seen someone testing a gas pump at a gas station. I seem to always be out of gas when the gas trucks are there filling the tanks, or when the lines are exorbitantly long, but never when they are testing the pumps or putting those little stickers on. But if you can't believe a sticker, what can you believe?

Well, I don't fucking believe the sticker. Somehow my gas tank now apparently holds more than 1.5 gallons of gas than it used to hold. And with gas prices dancing around $2 a gallon, I estimate that I am paying roughly $3 more per gallon every time I fill my tank than I should (not counting the highway robbery committed with the price itself. Oh, and at the Arco station I stopped at today, they also charge me 35 cents for the "convenience" of using my ATM card to pay for the fuel. So, that's about $3.35 extra per tank.


And while I'm at it, I also have a sneaking suspicion that gas pumps actually pump slower now that the gas price is higher. So it takes longer to pump that gas too. So I'm wasting more time at the pump (and time is money) and I'm paying more for the privilege at pumps calibrated to charge me for a gallon and a half of gas I don't think I'm getting.

Fucking bastards!

Either that, or I'm just impatient, and my truck's tank is bloated.

Or maybe the gas fumes are just finally starting to get to me.

I prefer the conspiracy theory myself.

Cash sucking, time stealing bastards!


ak said...

the time is money thing is pushing it a bit too far but in all other respects, concur i do.

up here in the dirty jerz gas is a tad bit below the two dollar mark also...although speaking of gas here's a story to further prove my lack of any intellectual capabilitied...when we were driving to toronto of course we needed to fill our car up with gas (it just doesnt seem to last as long as it used to...'bastards'...hahaha) and one of the times we stopped was at a canadian gas i get out and unpop my gas tank, reach for the nozzle when all of a sudden i see that the gas is only 79 i, thinking 'i knew it was just our country that was paying more for gas', pull everyond out of the car to look at the gas price and, like me, they were all amazed in fact, that we didn't think anyone would believe us when we got we proceeded to break out the digital camera and take a picture of the gas pump (which showed the price of course) yada, yada, yada, chivalry, broken nose, massive amounts of my good ol' pinot, i reach back i start telling my fam about the whole trip, and of course the first thing they wanna know about is how i broke my nose and all that good i enlighten them for a bit before i break out the real deal i upload my pics to the house computer (the laptop was in the shop...piece of crap) and show them the we're looking through when all of a sudden we finally get to the gas pump picture...and of course they were like 'why did you take a picture of a gas pump. just b/c you have a digital camera does not give you the right to be a dumbass'.

so i tell them 'no i took it b/c look how cheap gas prices are there. ONLY 79 CENTS!!!'

so they looked at eachother, looked back at me, looked at eachother again, and then said 'uhh yeah's 79 cents PER LITER!'


MJ said...

If it's any consolation, remember that $1 Canadian is equal to about .80¢ U.S. (yes, there's a currency exchange rate too...) Now, you do the math ... I have no idea!

Aside to the DFW - Nice to meet a fellow PSer and a Fishwrapper at that! Cheers! - MJ

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