Thursday, September 28, 2006

Deflating inflation

In my life as a native (Los) Angeleno, I've paid as much as $1.50 (in quarters) for 5 minutes of compressed air at a service station to fill up car tires, bike tires, and other assorted inflatable necessities of life, fully realizing that I was actually paying for the electricity to run the compressor, what little maintenance the compressor required, the property value and taxes collected on the space where the compressor sat, as well as for the convenience of having air-on-demand, 24-7-365.

But all I really got for my assorted two-bits, four-bits, six-bits, a dollar...was air.

In my small town, there are 7 establishments which sell the dino juice of the gods.

Love's, Shell, Texaco, Valero and the big 3-C's, Conoco, Cenex and Citgo

I can get free air at 5 of them, even though one of the air stations has a busted ball foot chuck on the air nozzle.

The other two charge a quarter.

The nerve.

2 comments:

Seth said...

For a while it's been illegal to charge for air/water in california if you used the gas station. I love going and getting a free token from them..

Few people know this fact. So tell your friends..

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/99-00/bill/asm/ab_0501-0550/ab_531_bill_19990930_chaptered.html

OKDad said...

Should have mentioned that.

Being a fellow gas-miserly Civic driver, we fill up a lot less than many people, providing that many fewer opportunities to get the air token.

Still, it would have been fun to collect and accumulate air tokens from as many gas stations as possible in the area to be used for any "compressed air emergencies" that should arise.

And you know there are many of those in a lifetime.