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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

For the last three weeks gas has been in the seventy-something range. Instead of dipping down to 64.9 cents as it usually does on Mondays and a portion of Tuesday, it has stayed at 78.9 cents. Even on Mondays and portions of Tuesdays.

It's happened before: following weeks of seeing only seventy cents per litre, I give up waiting for the price to go down and fill the tank. Two minutes later the price drops that fourteen cents. It's inevitable. Filling my tank guarantees that the price will go down. Then I lament having spent that two or three extra dollars when I could have waited.

This time, I know that the gas companies are waiting for my resolve to weaken. I know they are playing a waiting game with me, to see who will buckle first. This time, however, I am too clever for them. I just put $5 worth of gas into my car - if prices return to the sixty cent range, I will have room in the tank for cheap gas.

So far, I have been going to the gas station every day for the last three weeks. One can't get far on five dollars' worth of gas. Just to work and back, with a possible side trip to some nearby library.

The problem is that it is Tuesday night. Once again we in Vancouver missed the narrow margin of sixty-centedness. We must wait until next Monday.

If only I fill my tank with seventy-plus-cent gas, the spell will be broken. As always happens after I fill my tank at 78.9 cents, gas prices will suddenly melt. Vancouverites will rejoice and champagne will flow. Long-mute canaries will burst into song and mountain hermits will come out of seclusion. I will have lost a small fortune. Just one small sacrifice by me and the whole city will be rewarded. All responsibility lies with me.

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