It’s picture day again! Yes, your Wednesday/my Friday has finally arrived in this extra long workweek for me… so it’s time to dig into the virtual photo album for another pictorially inspired post as I continue the tradition Marilyn began of using my crappy camera work to fill midweek blog space.
While I can’t speak for other parts of the world… I know if you live in America, you have probably rejoiced as you’ve pulled into the gas station to get your latest dose of unleaded octane lately. Oil prices are as low as they’ve been in over a decade, and most of the country is paying less than $2 a gallon for gasoline… even here in Southern Illinois where we have to pay for Chicago tollways and corrupt politicians with high fuel taxes.
Here’s a photo I took near where I stayed on my Cleveland trip in September 2009. While I certainly don’t recall gas being this cheap at that point in time since it always seems to skyrocket right before I take a road trip, that $2.49 per gallon sign is pretty low given what prices have been since the first huge surge in oil prices in the middle of last decade. I certainly wouldn’t have bet that six years later, that would seem awfully expensive. Heck, look at this picture I took on the way home from my September 2011 Minneapolis trip…
This is more like what Americans have been used to in this second decade of the new millennium. It’s also a far cry from what gas prices were exactly 17 years ago this week. While I didn’t have a car yet at the time, I remember very well my parents filling up their van for a stunning 65 CENTS per gallon across the river (Missouri’s fuel taxes are nowhere near as exorbitant as Illinois’) on December 4, 1998. The price of a barrel of oil apparently crashed that Fall like Donkey Kong had just thrown it off the top of a building… as I also recall a station offering a gimmick price of 70 cents per gallon just two months earlier in October (In honor of Mark McGwire breaking the single season homerun record), and cars were lined up for blocks to take advantage of it. Who knew gas would soon be that cheap everywhere?
And who ever knows what the signs will change to tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Gas prices are so unpredictable… it’s not completely unfathomable that regular unleaded could drop back below $1 a gallon this winter… or suddenly be back in the mid-$3’s come 2016. It’s all a crapshoot played by greedy Wall Street men who make one dollar bets in the men’s room, and guys who probably have “Sultan” or “Emir” in their title…
I’ll throw some more fuel on the fire next week…
at least not only the euro is nearly the same as the $$, your gas prices are on the way to be the same like ours too… but I want a BIG black SUV anyway :o)
Then you can ride the bumper of my little Neon and have your headlights blind me in my rearview mirror like all of the other SUV owners. I promise I would wave (with at least one finger) as you went by… 🙂
In 1998, I went on a road trip and took I-85 down to Georgia. We were amazed at gas prices being 84 cents/gallon. Don’t think they’ll ever get that low again. Or at least not until matter transporters are invented.
How much would a barrel of matter cost anyway?
When I passed my driving test nearly 18 years ago, it was 65p a litre over here for petrol. It’s now £1.20 a litre (on average). Which is almost double. It stinks.
I remember when I could fill up my car for about $10. At one point a few years ago, $30 wasn’t even enough!
Sounds about right.
And now everyone’s bombing Syria, oil prices will go up again.
The good old days of 99 cent gasoline…. We’ll never see those prices again in Washington State. Our laws and taxes are moving more and more toward punishing people for driving. We should all be riding bikes, which is totally safe with all the big SUVs veering all over the place while their drivers text on their phones!
If everyone went to riding bikes, the politicians would just find a way to tax pedal power!
All gas prices are lower east of where I live (until you get to Europe.)
Summer before last the girl child and I drove from Las Vegas to the tiny mountain town of Dutch Flat (about 56 miles west of Lake Tahoe) on a single tank of gas – 522 miles. We were sixty miles from home and little message on the dash said we had ten miles until empty. Whoops. It was one of those “don’t tell your dad” moments. We forgot to stop for gas – we were too busy doing our own cover songs and being pulled over by obnoxious small town Buba cops in Nevada. Just goes to show that it pays drive a midsize sedan. It also pays to be able to cry on demand while passing through speed traps in small buttonhole desert towns.
That was butt-hole towns. Not buttonhole. Sheesh.
That’s a classic autocorrect! I don’t think I’d have figured out what a buttonhole town was…
The first time I filled up my tank at age 17 it was like 89 cents! Four years later and lawd. It’s $1.60 in SC now.
It was $1.89 the morning I made this post, then when I went out that evening it had already shot back up to $2.19. If other commodities had the crazy price fluctuations that gas does, shopping would be insane…
Holy crap! Outside of the hurricane inflation I’ve never seen it go up by more than a dime at a time. Crazy!
That’s the way it works where I live. Up 20-25 cents each week (Usually on a midweek day), then slowly dropping back to near the previous price until the next weekly spike… etc., etc. If the price is dropping or rising rapidly, there can be an extra spike day each week, or it may skip a week and just keep dropping depending on the situation. The fluctuations are insane, but it’s what we’ve become used to…
And we have refineries just north of where I live. I wonder if I’d get a discount if I skipped the middleman…
I think the really low grade shit here is $1.95 right now.
The really low grade shit is the good stuff. The only thing better was classic leaded.
I never huffed gasoline, but I did plenty of inhaling at gas stations as a kid…
Call me cynical, but the last time prices were this low, it was also a presidential election year coming up. I don’t suppose the oil cartel is trying to influence American politics by any chance? Nah. I’m just too cynical.
I don’t know if the oil cartels even have the control of prices anymore… that seems to have been hijacked by Wall Street. Most of the price fluctuation seems to depend on what oil is trading for and not as much on production. There’s definitely a new system to the variance of prices. Heck, the last time gas fell below $1/gallon was three months AFTER 9/11… when everyone assumed oil prices would skyrocket!
I just sold my car! OMG!!!
Great! Now you have gas money! 🙂
Our petrol prices have also dropped massively since their “high”. It took a bit of Googling to convert to “US liquid gallons” but it came out at $6.49 per gallon (in case I messed up the conversion, that’s 108.9p per litre).
Our petrol hasn’t been at US prices since around 1890 🙂
We are doing our best to catch up with you all! Fair is fair..
Mom says she remembers when she could grab a hand full of change and nearly fill up her car when she was a teenager… of course that had to be in the dinosaur era where they still had wheels and not gas – snorts with piggy laughter. When will these prices stop? XOXO – Bacon
P.S. I am happy to report that gas here in our area is going for 1.85 a gallon for regular.
Fred Flintstone never complained about gas prices! Of course, since the dinosaurs were still alive, there was no oil yet anyway! Yabba dabba doo!