And you thought gas was high

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Please, stop teasing us.

Just go ahead and put us out of our misery and raise the price of a gallon of gas to $3.

Oil companies are such a tease. They install big, bright and shiny pumps – you know the ones I’m talking about, the ones with all the right buttons in all the right places. Those pumps are so customer friendly, all you have to do is insert either your debt or credit card, fill your tank and off you go.

If you need to go inside, they’ve filled the store with all the latest gadgetry. You can purchase a double Cappuccino, or a Caf\u00E9 Latte if you so choose, grab a breakfast bagel or a lunchtime hot dog, purchase a raffle ticket, choose a name for your baby, donate a pint of blood and/or schedule an airline reservation.

What ever happened to the old country store with the single gas pump, one drink cooler and packs of nabs in heavy glass jars. There wasn’t but one grade of gas, and if you wanted a soft drink you could choose from Pepsi, Coke, R-C, 7-Up, Orange Crush or Grape Nehi.

Now there’s a “summer blend” gas. That sounds like something they would sell on the inside, but where in the heck would they put it. There’s something like nine coolers, each filled with every type of beverage known to man.

But back to this gas thing, if a gallon of petro is $2.98.9 locally, it’s really three bucks. I mean, come on, what in your store can we buy for 1.1 cents?

Plus you make us pump our own gas. One would think at these prices we would get the man with the star, and I ain’t referring to Marshall Dillon.

That’s another old sight fallen by the wayside. You young folks out there don’t remember what it’s like to visit a real service station. You pull your 1963 Pontiac Bonnerville to the pump and an actual person, a real-life employee, would come running out of the garage area, go to the driver’s side window, inquire of what type of purchase you wanted to make and, hold onto your hats here, would physically remove the gas nozzle from the pump, place it in the appropriate area of your vehicle and complete your order.

And, get this, they would smile and laugh, all while cleaning your windows and checking under the hood.

Believe it or not, but if your car needed some type of service, from something as simple as a tire repair all the way to an engine overhaul, there was a mechanic on duty to handle your needs.

If you were a good customer, you could charge it without the need of a piece of plastic in your wallet. You see, before there were credit cards, cell phones and e-mail, folks actually got to know and trust one another. Now everyone is nothing more than a bunch of numbers strung together.

However, in defense of the major oil companies, they’re not the only ones gouging the public. If you think gas pump prices are steep, check out the following per gallon information:

A 16-ounce bottle of Diet Snapple is $1.29. That works out to $10.32 per gallon.

Looking to quench your thirst with a 16-ounce Lipton Ice Tea? That will run you $1.19. If you’re real thirsty, a gallon will set you back $9.52.

Gatorade is another popular soft drink. A 20-ounce bottle is $1.59 ($10.17 per gallon).

Ocean Spray’s 16-ounce drink is $1.25. That works out to $10 per gallon.

Actually, per gallon soft drink prices are cheap when you consider the following:

For $3.15, you can purchase a 12-ounce can of brake fluid. If you have a really bad brake leak or a lot of vehicles, a gallon of the “stop juice” will run you $33.60.

That sneezing, coughing, fever relief, I wish the room would stop spinning Vick’s Nyquil is $8.35 for six ounces. That translates to $178.13 per gallon.

Got an upset tummy? Try some Pepto Bismol for $3.85 (4-ounce bottle). If you’ve just consumed nine burritos and washed it down with warm milk, you may need a gallon of the pink stuff. Please pay $123.20.

A 7-ounce container of Whiteout is $1.39. That’s $25.42 per gallon. Hoppe u din’t makke maaany musteaks.

You’ve got a hot date and your mouth feels like you just bit a squirrel. A quick blast of Scope mouthwash (99 cents for a 1.5-ounce bottle) will do the trick. If your breath just naturally stinks all the time, kind’a like squirrel roadkill, Scope by the gallon will run you $84.48 per gallon.

But what really burns my chops is the price of water. I mean, really, who would have thought 20 years ago that we’d pay for drinking water. Some of the fancier brands (I didn’t know water was all that fancy) run around $1.49 for 9 ounces. That’s 21.19 per gallon…..for water that could quite possibly come out of someone’s tap at home.

Here’s one final thing to ponder. Ever wonder why printers for your home computer are so cheap? It’s that way so the computer geeks will have you hooked on buying ink cartridges. Those little pop-in pieces of plastic aren’t cheap, so much so that someone calculated the cost of a gallon of printer ink at $5,200.

So, the next time you’re at the pump, be glad your car doesn’t run on water, Scope, Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or, God forbid, computer printer ink!