Report from the field:
I took Marta today to run a few errands - bookstore, lunch at Subway, and two banks (yes, one of them is WaMu...LOL.) For the first time, I saw lines at gas stations - the 20% or so that were open. The rest of them I passed were either 100% bagged, or they had diesel only. There seemed to be no shortage of diesel, but most stations that were open had regular grade only. Prices ranged from $3.97 (a QT, very long times...gnarly-looking) to $4.29. Riding along, I would see 3-4 more blank stations, then another one with long lines.
On the final stretch home on the bus, after the QT, I passed six dry gas stations in a row, and then I came to my stop, where the Chevron is. Closed yesterday, they have regular today for $4.09, same as before. And yes, there were long lines. The thing that makes it interesting is that it's an actual *service station / garage* a la 1969. It's one of the few service stations in this city that offer full service, for about .55 cents more per gallon. This small, humble-looking establishment doesn't have a large forecourt at all - just two rows, 2 sets of pumps for the self and one set for the full, so that's 6 hoses going at once. The were smart enough to cone off the entrance off the main throughfare, and allowed entry only on the rear side. When I walked past there, it looked like a Gordian knot of cars, encircling the garage itself. I mean, almost every square inch of pavement of that place was occupied by a car, with driver, waiting for gas. A real sight to behold.
This is when it's time for me to say "no thank you" and leave my car parked. It's very, very clear there isn't nearly enough gas to meet the demand, and there's no way of knowing when it's going to get better. And my Breeze card has suddenly become one of my most precious possessions.
Could a state-wide holiday be in store for us next week?
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide...
...and the meek shall inherit the Earth!