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Hot Potatoes: Filling Up w/Anxiety

I flew to Portland on Monday for the chance to pay $3.33.9 for a gallon of regular gas. Actually, I took the 6:45 a.m. flight to the Rose City to help Amy Dearest pack her car and drive her back home, following her junior year at University of Portland. My close encounter with the Ghost of Gas Prices Yet to Come at a Portland gas station was a bonus. As an attendant tossed his cigarette aside and shuffled over from a coupla other smokers seemingly guarding the station's air compressor, I wondered how much of the gas price resulted from Oregon's loopy law that prevents you from pumping your own gas. Whatever the amount, it doesn't include the cost of an interpreter. The attendant couldn't speak English, and I couldn't find the lever inside the car to open the hinge for the gas cap. Luckily, the attendant and I both spoke broken sign language and the tank was already half full. So I got off for under $30, and Amy and I made it back to Coeur d'Alene with only one stop in the Tri-Cities to top off the tank for $24 at $3.19.9 per gallon. Upon returning from my 12-hour, three-state venture, I was greeted by a sight that I found surprisingly welcome as I pulled off Interstate 90 at the Fourth Street exit – the Exxon gas sign advertising regular unleaded for $3.00.9. Sometimes, I don't mind when Idaho's behind the times.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.