As much as I've carped about gas prices and my long commute to Western Michigan University, it's actually been since 21 June 2008 that's I've even talked about gas. For one thing, I was trying to be nice. And for another, after the last day of June I didn't have to go in to work four or five days a week, and so wasn't racking up the gas pump displays as much. Just one trip a week, voluntarily to go in and have some office hours and tinker around the place -- not being paid to do it either. (grin)
Also, some of the pain was allieviated by those 10% bonus Family Fare gift cards we got by using our economic stimulus check. For roughly one month, none of our grocery or gasoline bills went on Discover. Just in time for us to put the 2008-9 heating season pre-buy of LP on Discover.
As per usual, the pump prices continue to defy some forms of logic. In the last two weeks gas began to drop, with regular dropping below the dreaded four dollars a gallon. Today the Family Fare gas station has regular at $3.86.9/gallon. Plus I had two Family Fare discount slips, one for buying Ball Park franks and one for a gallon of milk, each worth 5cents/gallon. So I filled up on regular 87 octane for $3.76.9/gal. Made me feel good, in that sick bait-and-switch way that superhigh prices always manage to do to us, until...
I got to Kalamazoo and found both Shell and BP running at $3.73.9/gal. Oh come on, are we back to this again? Either there's a 12cents/gal differential between K-zoo and G.R., which happens from time to time, or prices are jumping around in silly large intervals again. Makes planning hard, though I nursed things around so I would've been hard pressed to make it to Kalamazoo to save a few more pennies -- it's the principle of the thing.
Just over a year ago I was grousing about the ping and pong of gasoline prices in the same way, albeit at a level a dollar cheaper than today. And when you think about the forty cents a gallon jump I complained about in July 2007, then the unholy forty cents a gallon gouge we've just endured in June-July 2008 is just about 10% of the cost of gas.
In Other Words
The 10% bonus we got by "investing" our economic stimulus check in Family Fare gift cards, which was by far the best "interest" we could get on our money, was all eaten up by the Unholy Gouge. Thanks. Very. Much.
And ExxonMobil just posted the largest quarterly profits in US history.
The profit "marks the company's largest in history, so politicians and consumers are likely to express outrage in face of record gasoline prices," said analyst Ryan McShane at Briefing.com.
"At the same time, ExxonMobil shareholders are disappointed with the earnings."
Oh, let me shed some tears for the Poor, Poor, Pitiful ExxonMobil Shareholders. (wah!)
We Cannot Afford These People