December 8, 2011 by esarsea
That’s an old adolescent joke, I know…
For those of you too young to remember, the higher-octane gasoline used to be called “Ethel” instead of “Super” or “Premium” as it is today. The name “Ethel” was derived from the additive tetraethel lead, which boosted octane, reduced engine ping, and helped lubricate valve guides. Its use was discontinued for environmental concerns back in the 70’s.
But that’s not what I wanted to vent about today. What irritates me to no end is how it takes damn near as long to put the last 50 cents worth of gas in my car as it does the first $19.50.
It seemed to start right about the time gas prices went way up the last time around, as if it was some sort of psychological tool. With higher prices it took a lot less time to put $20 or $30 or $50 in the tank, so I speculated that maybe it was a way to make it seem like it took the same amount of time to fill up.
When I find myself standing out in the wind and the rain and the cold with places to go and things to to, and it’s taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to put in that last little bit of gas I paid for, it just pisses me off. And don’t try to tell me it’s to reduce spillage, or to prevent sudden stops and/or impacts on the pump gear. I’m not buying it. If that was the case they could slow down the pump for the last 5 cents, not the last 50-plus cents. On some pumps it’s even worse.
Yeah, it’s a small, trivial issue. But I’ve got a $25-per-day gas bill for my commute, so I spend a fair amount of time at the pumps…and with each passing day it just continues to infuriate me.
Ok I feel better now.