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Sometimes I get gas pains just thinking about it

Tue., April 26, 2011

These are giddy times for the oil industry and the telltale signs hover above every gas station.

Regular: Arm. Mid-Grade: Leg.

Premium: First-Born Child.

Ah, remember those innocent good old days?

You know, a couple years ago when everybody wanted to tar and feather President Bush after gasoline hit the $3-a-gallon mark.

Then along came Obama who promised us all change.

Too bad we didn’t realize that he was talking about gas changing to four bucks a gallon.

I tell you, the gas woes are so bad that even the criminals are suffering.

Take what happened Easter Sunday on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

A couple of bozos supposedly stole a 19-foot fishing boat from a slip.

Their joy cruise was short-lived. Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies found the fools bobbing in the water like a dead carp.

You guessed it – outta gas!

You know we’re in a crisis when the pirates can’t even fuel a proper getaway.

But when it comes to feeling the pain at the pump, nobody has been hit harder than yours truly.

Gas is getting so costly that I’m actually thinking about – gasp – scuttling my sacred Vista Guzzler.

I know. For years I’ve regaled you with tales about my cherry red 1967 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and the adventures we’ve gone on.

Hey, I’m planning on driving it in a Wallace parade soon.

But reason and economics are telling me that the wisest trip would be to drive it over the nearest cliff.

That’s because …

There are times when my wagon will manage maybe 10 miles to the gallon. Unfortunately, those are the times when I’m driving downhill and a hurricane is pushing my tail.

My Olds loves premium gas more than Donald Trump loves hairspray and ass kissing. Seriously. The V-8 engine doesn’t run right unless the octane number is similar to the speed of a Mariano Rivera fastball.

I have a confession to make. Some days I go to gas stations and don’t buy anything.

I just pull alongside a pump, get out and take hold of the nozzle. Then I insert the metal end into my fuel hole and try to shake out what few drops of gas the consumer before me might’ve missed.

It’s pathetic, I know.

I got the idea one day when I was in a restroom and this old guy was using the urinal next to me.

Aw, but who am I kidding? A Vista Cruiser can’t be run on shaken driblets. Eventually, you have to pony up and feed the beast.

I did just that Monday after lunch.

I drove into a filling station across the street from one of those payday loan shops. Fortunately, I still had a quarter of a tank so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have to go over and fill out an application.

Premium was almost a penny over $4, which made me lightheaded. This marked my very first time of breaking the four-buck refueling barrier.

I began pumping. And pumping…

Finally the tank was full. I, on the other hand, was $59.25 lighter.

I muttered: “And that’s with the tank NOT EVEN EMPTY?”

Arrrghh. If things get any worse I swear I’m going to put on an eye patch and join the pirates.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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