There’s a gas shortage here in metro-Atlanta. The local news is all over it. I don’t know if the national guys have picked it up. On Thursday, my mother waited in line for over an hour at a QT. This morning, my father did the same at Kroger. They keep saying that gas is on the way, whoever they are. And they say that the EPA has loosened regulations so we can get gas faster. Two weeks ago, they said that we’d have gas in a week.
Well, they are full of it. It’s hard to find a gas station with gas here in Cobb County, Georgia.
Yesterday, the gas station across the street from the service station where I was getting an oil change/emission test, began announcing that they would only have gas for another hour. To say that the people who had been waiting for an hour plus were angry is an understatement. I thought that they were going to riot.
So while my baby Sol was getting an oil change we watched the line inch forward. The real fun was in watching the line creep out of the gas station lot and block Hwy 41 (Cobb Parkway).
I guess I should explain Cobb Pkwy. It’s a major 4-lane North-South artery in Cobb County, second only to I-75 which runs parallel to it. It’s also the site of the longest perpetual simultaneous games of chicken and road racing. People drive like crazy on Cobb Pkwy. Speed limit? What speed limit? Your gramma, the one who won’t drive above 35 MPH? She’ll turn into Evil Knievel on Cobb Pkwy. Left turn lanes are seen as opportunities to intimidate the drivers in the oncoming lanes. Right turn lanes are used as a means to go faster than traffic in the driving lanes.
Cobb Pkwy is like a rural interstate with traffic lights and interesting topography and obstacles. And those traffic lights are seen as slight suggestions. Green means keep going fast. Yellow means go even faster. And red… well, red is complicated. Oh, people will stop for red lights, but only after the light’s been red for a good ten seconds. This is handy information to know if you’re on a side street trying to cross Cobb Pkwy.
Cobb Pkwy is the Bermuda Triangle of roads. Strange events happen there. And you never know if you’ll return from it. I do not exaggerate. I’ve been in four car wrecks. Three of them were on Cobb Pkwy.
So, back to the gas station line yesterday. At that particular place on Cobb Pkwy in Acworth, in addition to the regular dare-devil atmosphere, the sight distance is limited because that lane is on the down side of a steep hill. So yesterday, people were riding hell for leather on Cobb Parkway as usual heading up that hill, only to have to slam on the brakes heading down the hill at the last second to avoid hitting the last person in the gas station line. Skreeeeeeeeech!
People were cutting in line from a side street, which only added to the tension in the line. Other people were leaving the line, which added to the tension on Cobb Pkwy. It was a mess. At least it wasn’t during rush hour, like when my mother was in line Thursday.
According to the local NBC station, it’s not going to end for a while.