I figured out the crime I’m going to eventually commit that lands me in jail for the first time in my life. It will involve me beating the shit out of a row of gas pumps with a baseball bat, and quite possibly assaulting the man or woman who happens to be working at that particular gas station when I go on my rampage. The reason this crime will take place is because of something like this:
I’ve always prided myself on my ability to quickly scan the prices of multiple gas stations at an intersection and pick the lowest-priced place. Not everyone has this skill. It’s not a huge deal because a couple of cents difference per gallon equals less than $1.00 savings per fill-up usually. But mentally it feels great to be pumping the cheapest gas on the block.
But because the “quick scan” involves only being able to look at the giant numbers that we’ve been trained all our lives to look at on the gas station’s sign, I’ve started running into a situation where I’m not necessarily getting that best price. Here are the three problems I’ve been running into lately:
1). Like you can see on the image above, I end up at a gas station where they’ve advertised only the cash price. Once you’ve parked at a pump, inserted your credit card and started pumping, only then do you realize the gas is 10 cents more expensive than you were told by the giant sign. This is absolute bullshit. Who the fuck is paying for their gas with cash? Gas is absurdly expensive so you can’t convince me many people are walking around with the $145 it takes to fill a tank these days.
2). I end up at a gas station whose regular unleaded price actually is what they’ve advertised…only if I decide to get a car wash with my fill-up. Usually the words “with regular car wash” next to the price on the giant sign are printed in 6-point font. This makes me want to throw my dog’s feces (particularly the soft serve consistency she has when I feed her too much Easy Cheese) at the gas station’s windows.
3). I go to a gas station where the price per gallon is actually the same regardless of whether you pay cash or credit. But instead of raping me on a per gallon basis, they just take a flat fee off the top by charging me something like 55 cents to use my credit card. So you’re charging me an extra tax for the right to pay you $60 on my Visa card? Different method of rape, same result…I still leave the gas station feeling like I’ve been deeply penetrated against my will.
In my opinion, all these sketchy tricks are scams. We’ve been trained to look at those big signs and trust that we know the price we’ll actually be paying for gas. If we have a car, we’re forced to buy overly expensive gas anyway. We shouldn’t have to pay a penalty because of the method of payment we choose (or just because we don’t wanna take our car through your shitty car wash).
I’m starting to think I’d rather pay $7 per gallon at a place that doesn’t commit any of these atrocities than continue to be treated like a goddamned fool.
Anyway, when I do end up in jail for going crazy and beating a gas station vendor to death, at least you’ll know what caused me to snap.