I’m sure it’s not news to anyone that, with the start of 2018, Oregonians can now pump their own gas as long as they do it in a county with fewer than 40,000 people. The news, apparently, is that Oregonians couldn’t pump their own gas to begin with. It was certainly news to me. The first time I fueled up on the other side of the border, back in 2016, I hopped out to pump the gas, only to be politely informed by the attendant that he’d do it for me. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.
I gas up in Oregon all the time, no so much for the service but the cost. Due to our taxation rate, gas is about forty cents cheaper there. Anything I can do to avoid putting a buck in the pocket of Governor Brown’s cronies is worth it to me. Still, it’s kind of nice, nostalgic even, to have somebody gas up my car. It brings back memories of my childhood when “full service” was just “service”. That, of course, was before the oil embargo of the seventies, gas lines, prices over $1, and “odd and even” days at the gas station. Good times.
It’s not full service, though. They don’t check your oil, tire pressure, or clean your windshield. I kind of miss that, but no biggie. It’s also pretty clear it’s nothing more than a jobs program, subsidized by gas station owners. While that offends my free market sensibilities, California’s gas taxes offends them more, so Oregon gets my business whenever I have the choice.
If you need a laugh, go find the social media threads about this. I’ll admit, good trolling is my guilty pleasure. The posts and the comments are absolutely hilarious. Outraged Oregonians claiming to be unable to fuel their own vehicles as if they’ve never driven outside their state in their lives. Outraged people from everywhere else who are so offended that there were people who didn’t have to pump their own gas like the rest of us, even though they were completely unaware of that fact before it showed up in their Facebook feed on Tuesday morning.
I’m a misanthrope at heart, and further evidence of just how terrible people are pleases me in some dark corner of my soul.
As of this writing, people are still prohibited from pumping their own gas in New Jersey and Harrington, New York. Apparently, the struggle continues.
I had to drive to Medford on Wednesday for a medical appointment. As I emerged from the canyon into the Illinois Valley, I half expected to find a shattered wasteland of burned out gas stations, abandoned cars, and shambling survivors wandering the ruins, envying the dead. Fallout without the radiation and super mutants. Sadly, this was not the case. Life went on. Oregon is still beautiful and funky. Same as it ever was.
I stopped for gas in Cave Junction before crossing back into California. The attendant, a nice guy, still had his job. He gassed up the truck and the gas can in the bed without missing a beat. While he worked I hit the head and bought a soda. I came out and he offered me the receipt.
Then, I headed home through the winding canyon, secure in the knowledge that I’d kept fifteen bucks out of Jerry Brown’s pocket.