Here’s another posting that has nothing to do with movies.  I just wanted to mention a few things about my experience with the gas crisis in NYC and Long Island.

On Thursday, November 1, as I was coming home from work, I saw cop cars race to my local B.P. gas station to arrest a man there.  Cops pointed their guns at the man, and he was soon on the ground as cops piled on him.   I didn’t think much of it, but I think that was part of the beginning of the gas crisis.   Kind of like those horror movies where people get infected and become crazy.  First you see something not quite right and think nothing of it.  Until you see it happening all around you, and often.

Over the weekend following the landfall of Sandy, I saw the gas lines, stretching for 5 or ten blocks.   Some stations had 2 lines of cars fighting for position, plus there was a separate line for those on foot carrying gas containers.  Many really needed the gas as they were low.  Some were okay with what they had, but panicked and wanted to fill up as much as they can.  I was part of the latter.  Who knows how long this would last?  Politicians said it would be over in a few days.  A few days later, the gas lines became longer!

I never waited in line with my car.  I used two old, small, gas containers at first.  My wait on my first line was about 1 1/2 hours, and got only a little over 2 gallons, but even with that paltry amount I was ecstatic to get it!   I swore my next gas line would net me more than 2 gallons; and so I scoured the internet for local stores that carried gas containers.  After a few days of searching, a Lowe’s near my job had many 2 gallon, gas containers on sale.  I bought 4.  By the time I was on my 4th and last gas container line, I was a pro: I carried my 4 new, containers in a granny cart, and went home with a little over 8 gallons of regular.  It was faster than being in the line with a car, and saved my cars the wear and tear of all that idling for hours. I felt like I won the lottery!

This added much peace of mind, as someone I love almost died while I was coming home from work, and we had to take her to the hospital.  I visited many times, and that extra gas I suffered to get (waiting in line in the cold; breathing in all those fumes as you pump gas in the containers and emptying the containers in your car; spilling gas on your hands; the smell of gas on your clothes and inside your car) came in very handy as I knew I had more than enough to go to work and make my many visits to the hospital.

Well, I still had no idea how long this gas crisis would last in NYC and LI, and so I conserved as much as I could.  I drove like a grandmother, as did many people.  I barely saw anyone going over 70 m.p.h.   Gas had become very precious, and it had to be conserved, because who knew when you were going to get your next fill?

Days passed, and my loved one got better.  She’s no longer in the hospital; and that is definitely me winning the lottery, as losing her would have been a tremendous loss.

The gas lines also started to disappear.   By November 13, I no longer saw gas lines.  Police no longer kept their presence at the gas stations that are open.  Gas stations were no longer enforcing Bloomberg’s law of gas rationing using the last digit of a car’s license plate.  And people no longer drove like grandmothers.   I see the majority of drivers going 70 or 80 on the highways.  So much for conservation.

I filled up my Gen Coupe this night after coming home from work.  The local B.P. station had 10 pumps, all working; and only 2 cars were there.  I went right in, put my credit card in the reader, and within seconds I was pumping premium into my ride.  I wasn’t jumping up and down, or smiling.  I felt a quiet satisfaction in experiencing something I hadn’t done for almost 2 weeks.  I looked over at the area where I stood in line not too long ago — along with dozens of “container people” — and felt lucky to not be doing that anymore.  Lucky not to have to spend time looking at to search for open gas stations.  Lucky to not waste hours standing on line.  Lucky not to breathe in the poisonous vapors of gas.

I will never take a gas station with no lines for granted again.  I will enjoy and savor each time I can pump gas into my car without waiting.  Because those gas lines will come back.  The limited supply of oil, the natural disasters that can disrupt the flow of oil and gas to where they’re needed, and people driving as if oil magically replenishes itself underground…yeah, those gas lines will be back.   Only they’ll be back along with bread lines, and water lines.