The great gas fiasco of ’08, or, Nashville is insane

Two weeks ago when Ian and I ordered a TV cart and bookshelf from American Signature, we decided to save the $100 delivery fee and pick it up ourselves. Ian’s dad has a truck and graciously told us we could use it to haul the furniture. Even considering the cost to put some gas in the truck, it wouldn’t cost us near $100 so we decided to go for it. Well, also, American Signature won’t deliver to Murfreesboro on the weekend and we didn’t want to have to take time off work to wait around for them. Especially since they only deliver to Murfreesboro once a week, and it’s been a pain in the ass to get them to come out here in the past.

Anyhoo, so Friday rolls around and people start freaking out about gas in Nashville. The Murfreesboro stations we passed on the way in to work were fine, but when we got home Friday night people were lined up at each station. My Civic was almost empty, and knowing we’d have to drive to Mt. Juliet this weekend, I decided to stop at the Exxon by our house and fill up. Not because I was in a panic, mind you. I actually needed some frikkin’ gas. Well, the line was all the way out of the station, so Ian and I hung out at home and periodically checked on the station (we can see it from our upstairs bedroom window) until we saw the lines were down to just one or two at a pump. This was about 10:30. Yes, people were freaking out until after 10:30 last night. Of course, all they had left was premium. Fuckers.

So Saturday morning we drove out to Mt. Juliet to pick up Ian’s dad’s truck, and along the way noticed people were forming crazy long lines around every station we saw. People were filling up gas cans and lawnmowers in addition to their own vehicles. I wondered why they thought they’d need 100 gallons of gas to get them through the weekend, but then realized these are the same people who freak out and buy Kroger out of its milk and bread when it is rumored to maybe think about perhaps snowing a quarter of an inch in two weeks. (I have never understood why people buy two of the most perishable items when they think they are going to be stuck in their house, cut off from civilization, for weeks. Makes no sense. Wouldn’t you buy canned goods?)

Anyway, we got to Ian’s dad’s house, jumped in the truck, and realized that it was almost on empty. No biggie, we thought, we’ve got enough to get to Cool Springs and then back to Murfreesboro, where we can put enough in to get us back to Mt. Juliet (and not leave Ian’s dad in the lurch when he needs to use the truck again).

Well, we made it almost to Cool Springs and the E light came on. Ian called his dad, who said he wasn’t sure how long we could go, but they decided we needed to get gas rather than risk getting stranded on the side of 840 with $700 worth of furniture in an open-bed truck (especially since it had rained a bit on us earlier in the day). So we pulled off the road in Triune to try the Citgo and the Kangaroo. Both had lines going down the road.

We foolishly thought we’d have better luck in Cool Springs, where there are tons more than just two gas stations, so we ventured on.

Boy were we wrong. We passed at least 10 gas stations that didn’t have any gas at all. Finally we found one Mapco that had one pump, but the attendant (who was helping someone fill up) advised the folks in front of us to leave and go down to exit 61 on I-65, as they had lots of gas.

We were starting to worry a little—not worry like “Oh my god we’re not going to have gas for days or weeks!” but worry like “Holy shit we could actually get stranded in fucking Cool Springs and not be able to get home.”

So we headed down to exit 61, where we passed another four gas stations that were totally out. We came to a BP that was part of one of those TA travel stops, and low and behold it had gas. Regular only, $3.79/gallon. Fucking sweet.

Well, it was fucking sweet to find gas, but the line was not sweet at all. When we pulled up, there were about 50 cars in front of us. But it was organized, I’ve got to give them that. An attendant came around to make sure everyone knew which side their gas tank was on, and advised us that a man up at the front of the line would tell us which pump to go to. The guy also asked if we were about to run out (we were), and said that if we happened to while we were waiting in line they would sell us a gas can full enough to get us up to the pump. Luckily we made it, but we waited almost an hour and a half before we got to the pump. We put $50 in. That got us to a little over a half a tank. Enough to make it back to Murfreesboro.

And when we did, of course there was some asshole filling his van all the way up… and then his gas can.

Seriously, isn’t that what makes this worse? Just put the gas in your fucking vehicle and go home. There is no need to hoard gas, people, shit!

We finally made it home with our furniture, but didn’t have the energy to go back to get my car, which is still in Mt. Juliet. We also decided to skip the blogger meet-up at the Flying Saucer, which sucks, but we were emotionally and physically drained from playing Mad Max all day. Also, we weren’t sure how long Middle Tennesseans were going to keep freaking out about gas, and figured we should use the gas it would take to drive the 70 miles or so to and from the Saucer for the work week.

Seriously, who started the rumor about there not being any gas? And if you find him/her, can I punch him/her in the neck?