Thursday, September 25, 2008

Going back to 1973

Welcome to 1973. The Arab OPEC countries have placed an embargo on the United States and it is a time of gas shortages and high prices. Okay, maybe we aren't as bad off as in 1973, but it sure felt like it.
I flew into Atlanta today and I read this week about gas shortages across the Southeast. As I sat there I thought "how bad could it really be?" It was worse than I thought. I landed and had about 60 miles before I ran out of gas. I normally do not fill up my tank before I leave my car at the airport because I am afraid of someone syphoning my gas. It normally works out great, but not so much today. Who really expects a gas shortage? I decided to drive a little bit away from Atlanta to improve my chances of finding gasoline.
After I drove about 30 miles away from Atlanta, I stopped for lunch at an exit with plenty of restaurants and 5 gas stations. As it turns out, four of the five stations were out of gas. They had notes stuck to the pumps that said "No Gas." Finally I found a station that had gas.
The notes are hard to read but the station had no premium or mid-grade gas and limited people to around 10 gallons. I got my 10 gallons and figured it would at least get me to Auburn. As it turns out, there is some gas in Auburn, but I am hearing rumors they are running out too. Word on the street is that a gas shipment came in to one station here tonight and I need to run out and get some before its gone.
How ridiculous were those last two sentences? I feel like I'm in a bad horror movie about the end of the world. We are running out of gas and people now share rumors of new gasoline shipments. How did things get so bad?