Panic buying


Yesterday, when I heard that Hurricane Rita had reached category 5, I decided top-off my gas tank even though it was still half-full.

Sometime this morning, a gas station owner punched the wrong buttons and accidentally raised his gas price from $1.09 to $1.67. He corrected his mistake 45 minutes later but, as we say around here, le mal etait fait. Conflicting information swirled around cell phones and radio stations (including a preposterous rumor that a Laval gas station had raised its price to $1.95) and pretty soon we had gas lines all over the city. Commuters would see the lines, decide not to take a chance and make things even worse. Tempers were already beginning to flare at this Esso station whose configuration was not conductive to ordered panic.

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