Coffee heat rising

Drop a Tranquilizer before Visiting a Gas Station…

{gasp!} {hyperventilate!!!!}

Just back from a junket to Costco…and waypoints. Belief HAS officially been defied now….

The plan was to traipse up to Costco in search of the usual bargain on gasoline. CC routinely underprices every gas retailer within several miles of a given store, right? While there, buy a few not-urgently-needed but nice-to-have grocery & household items, and also renew this year’s membership, which I’m told is officially running out.

Thank gawd they sell wine… That’s all i can say….. 8-o

Drive and drive and drive and drive and…every road in the goddamn city is under construction. Wherever you’re goin’ you really CAN’T get there from here. Arrive at the store north of the Great Desert University (WAY north…), which is about the same distance from here as the store in Paradise Valley but which, because of the relative penury of the surrounding populace (middle-middle class, not upper-middle-class and Richerati) will likely have a lower price on gas.

My membership is running out. Ask the lady at the entrance where to get it renewed; she says the easiest way is just to pay at checkout.

Ramble around the store ogling all the amazing eye-popping goods. Toss a bunch of stuff I don’t need into the cart. Make my way through the checkout line. Offer to pay for the membership renewal. She says I don’t have to do that now.

Yeah? Well…then why are they telling me to do that now? I figure she just doesn’t want to be bothered. Okkkayyyy….

Retrieve the Dog Chariot. Head for the gas pumps.

They’re mobbed.

But, being the canny type, I manage to slither into a line that has only three or four vehicles ahead of me.

Wait and wait and wait and wait, then wait and wait and wait and wait, and then wait some more.

FINALLY pull up to a gas pump.

Stick my Costco card in. Clickety hummedy click. Then stick my debit card in (Costco doesn’t accept AMEX credit cards)…and….

PLONK! Am told my cards are no good.

Annoyed, I stalk across the lot and retrieve the attendant.

No problemo! saith he.

He sticks my Costco card in. Clickety hummedy click. Then sticks my debit card in. And PLONK! We’re both told to take a flyer at the moon.

He proposes to hold up the ever-longer line with some sort of hoop jumps. I say f’geddaboutit! Because I happen to know the QT in Sunnyslop is charging the same rate Costco is.

Drive and drive and drive and drive and drive and dodge construction zones and drive and slip through a short-cut i know and drive and drive and finally arrive at the QT.

Whip up to an unoccupied(!!!!!) pump and…and…lo and sumbiche! Find the price is a bargain $5.21 a gallon — yea, verily:  the same bargain price that Costco was charging!

Five. Dollars. And. Twenty-One. Cents. A. Gallon!!!!!!!!!!!

It cost THIRTY DOLLARS to refill that quarter of a tank.


Well, thought I crabbily.There go any ideas about a weekend in Prescott. Or maybe in Yarnell. Or, oh Helle’s belles, even in freakin’ Sun City!


Okay, so between you’n’me and the lamp-post, that is the LAST time I visit a Costco to buy (or attempt to buy) gasoline. We have not one but two QT’s practically within walking distance of the ’Hood. And since about half the time (or more), the main reason I go to a Costco is not to shop in the CC but to buy gasoline, that is gonna mean a WHOLE lot less of the Funny Farm’s budget will be spent at Costco stores. I may not even bother to renew my membership. Enough being enough, after all.

One is left wondering what this state of annoying affairs foreshadows for supplies of day-to-day cost-of-living goods: food, diapers, soda pop, motor oil, coffee, tea, toothpaste, shampoo, hot dogs, steak, broccoli…. If the cost of fuel has gone up THAT much across the board, then suppliers and marketers will have to raise their prices accordingly.

This probably is a good time to stock up on things like paper goods (a far better time than we saw in the last Great Paper Panic). And on nonperishable foods. And canned goods. And stuff that can be stored in a freezer.

Because…clearly grocery prices are headed for the stratosphere.

And if you garden? Well then, garden like crazy, my friend! I’m thinking I may build a raised garden in the backyard right now. A bunch of things — summer squash and peppers and tomatoes and if you have any skill even things like corn will grow now. Then, in Arizona an amazing variety of veggies and fruits grow in the fall and winter.

It’s never too late to learn the fine art of canning….

6 thoughts on “Drop a Tranquilizer before Visiting a Gas Station…”

  1. $5.21 a gallon? YIKES! I filled my tank earlier today at $3.95 a gallon and I thought that was high. Most people don’t make much money in the south, but the cost of living is lower here, too. Thank Gawd!

    • Boggles the brain, doesn’t it? At this rate, normal people aren’t going to be able to afford to drive to work. For office workers, that may be moot — my son’s employer has announced they’re not re-opening their Phoenix-area offices and employees will continue to work from home, permanently. Just now the Internet says the average gas price in Phoenix is $5.20/gallon! Cheapest gas was reported at a Costco in Chandler (halfway to Tucson!) at $4.84/gallon.

      At this rate, people are going to be FORCED to use the public transport to get to work. In these parts, that will triple or quadruple the length of time required to commute.

  2. I’ll let Abby know that QT is more or less the same as Costco. Last time I visited her we swung past Costco to tank up but the lines were terrifying. She didn’t have many spoons left that day, so we decided to go somewhere else.

    Gardening can be a balm for the soul — and the palate. Partner does most of it these days, since he’s retired; thus far he’s got peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, pumpkins and five varieties of potato in the ground. We also put in a cherry tree the other day, to join our two apple trees, rhubarb and raspberries. Eatin’ GOOD in the neighborhood!

    If you’re interested in keeping what you grow, the National Center for Home Food Preservation is extraordinarily helpful:

    • Chances are QT prices depend on the prices in the surrounding neighborhood. I went into one in a decidedly low-rent section of town — not a place where I’d normally unlock the car doors. Except this particular gas station is haunted by LOTS of workingmen — you’re never even vaguely alone in in there, and you can be sure that about 80% of those guys ain’t takin’ no sh!t from no one, no how. So I feel pretty safe there.

      Over on her side of town…??? Hmmm…. There’s a QT a ways to the west of her, west of the University, where prices are pretty good. I think it’s on Thunderbird — could be Greenway — a few blocks west of 43rd Avenue. Last time I went into those parts, there was construction on what I believe to be…uhm…either 43rd or 51st, southbound. So be aware of that.

  3. As a person who recently retired, I can’t help but think my timing really sucked ;(. I have decided that I will allocate one day a week to do my errands/shopping. Trying to come up with stay-at-home/projects where I won’t lose my mind. I, also, won’t buy gas at Costco due to lines and more lines, even in MN. Recently back from a trip to FL, and that cured me of going there, even just for the winter. Traffic and drivers were unbearable. Gas over $5 will definitely change my choices. I feel your pain.

    • You might also want to consider Instacart. O’course, you have to pay something for the privilege of having someone schlep around the city and trudge through stores and haul the loot into your house…but IMHO it’s SOOOO worth it. Especially with this da*n plague going on. And given the price of gas, if you can cut out even a couple of trips a week that way, the cost may be a wash.

      As for Costco…if you have nothing else to do AND you need to make a Costco shopping run anyway, it may be worth sitting in line for awhile. They do have so many pumps that the lines move faster than you’d expect. Bring a magazine to pass the time! 😀

      But seriously: if ALL I need is a fill-up, these days I’m goin’ to regular gas stations.

Comments are closed.