Or it’s not. These last few days in Middle Tennessee have been a little weird. Nothing like the destruction felt from the actual hurricane, but a little weird nonetheless.
I was working at my daughter’s school when a parent came early to pick up her child. She said she couldn’t pick up the children in the usual order that involves a little backtracking because she couldn’t find gas. The stations were empty. Hmmm, I thought. I think I have about a 1/4 of a tank. I better take the route home that passes a few gas stations, because surely not ALL of them could be out.
So I did, and I passed 10 gas stations in total. All of them out of gas. The first still had the prices up and cars circling the pumps. The next nine were like desserted islands with ominous blank signs where the large black numerals usually hang. I knew I could get home. This was good news. But what about tomorrow? I was supposed to come back to the school for an activity for Maggie. Not the end of the world, just something a four-year-old girl has been awaiting all week.
Then, low and behold, the station nearest my home had a jam packed parking lot. I quickly pulled in and got in queue. The man in front of me cussed and I guessed the obvious – nothing was coming from the pump. I moved to the other side of the lot and pulled back in queue. I asked the woman pumping in front of me if there was gas. She said yes and I sighed with relief.
I filled up, watching the people in line behind me, hoping I wouldn’t be the one to get the last bit from this pump. But we filled up and were on our way. A few hours later I passed the same lot that is almost always hopping and there was nary a car in sight and again, a big empty sign. It’s pretty creepy, actually. We are being asked to limit travel until the situation is remedied. Reports say we should have a “normal supply” next week. Uh, you mean like next week, Monday, or next week Friday? Big difference.
Today was a lot more of the same. People scrambling to find a station with gas. Talk of fights breaking out at pumps. Lots of empty gas station parking lots. More empty gas signs. Myself checking every 3 miles to make sure I still have a sufficient amount of gas. Long, long lines at the stations that were lucky enough to get a resupply. Then, again, emptiness when the supply disappeared in record time.
I have this to say – I gripe just like anyone else when the price of gas keeps going up and up. But the idea that here, where mass transit is something other cities have, the idea of no gas is quite a bit scarier.