Got squirrel mouth?

Published 8:33 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Please, stop it. Settle on the price of gas and leave it alone.

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we here in the RC area were enjoying purchasing a gallon of gas for under two bucks a gallon.

Then, all of a sudden, some oil tycoon in the Middle East stumped his big toe while tripping over his gold bars and…wham, up goes the price of petro.

Did you know that the newspaper you are holding right now has not increased in price since….well, I forgot how long it’s been. We’ve been at 50 cents a copy for at least the last 20 years, perhaps longer. And the newsprint market is often as volatile as the oil market.

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 Café 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 was only 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 in today’s stores, each filled with every type of beverage known to man.

Plus you make us pump our own gas. One would think at these current prices ($2.55 per gallon as of Sunday; up about 20 cents over the past couple of weeks) 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 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.

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:

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 set you back $84.48 .

So, the next time you’re at the pump, be glad your car doesn’t run on Scope, Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, or Nyquil.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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