So anyhow, I am sitting there watching the Broncos pummel the Patriots’ second team defense and remember that I need gas. Thinking that a beer run is in order as well, I figure to kill two birds with one stone (or some other cliche that means chaining together errands). Inspired by a mildly entertaining Miller Lite commercial, I decide to wait until halftime to make the run.
In an act of self-defense, I call around to see who is offering the cheapest gas prices.
First up was Diamond Shamrock. On the 8th ring someone answers the phone and says flatly, "Shamrock."
"Hello, I was wondering how much you’re charging for mid-grade."
"Can’t tell ya."
"Helllooooo," she says.
"You can’t tell me, or you don’t know?"
"Can’t tell ya. It’s company policy. I’d get in a ton of trouble if I tell ya."
"Lemme see if I get this right. It’s against company policy to tell the public how much you’re charging for a gallon of gas."
"It’s something, but right isn’t one of them." I hang up and call Shell.
I’ll spare you the somnolent details, but the conversation mirrored the first. Next up: 7/11.
"How much for a gallon of mid-grade gas," I asK, thinking I shoud be using premium.
Hesitation and in a conspiratorial whisper, "Ummm, $2.75."
"You say that like you’re not supposed to tell me."
"Can’t tell you that either."
"On both fronts." I hang up.
Heading out the door I confront the appalling truth: In the petroleum world, transparency has gone the way of the dodo.