We got that 70s feeiing, in the gas shortage sense, on Thursday.
With the white car running out, we took the black car, and saw this scene (sort of like Depression-era bread lines, except people then would have been wearing suits not sweats, Jim pointed out.)
I nervously insisted on getting in one line in a nearby town, only to realize the cars at that gas station were empty and parked in front of pumps to tell people it had no gas. I was set to wait in a line with over 100 people in front of me and one pump open when Jim and a nervous Charlie, back from a bike ride, urged me not to. I wanted to stay, Jim texted me of Charlie's rising anxiety for MOM and I went home.
Proclaiming that his hunter-gatherer mentality was in operation full-force, Jim took an increasingly anxious-at-the-everything-closed Charlie in the white car to scout, over my 'you're wasting precious gas driving around randomly' objections.
Jim texted me, 'the Hess is open!'
I rushed out in the black car, met them in a prearranged location (Walgreen's) and it took me a half-hour to get to the end of the line but I was ready for the two-hour wait in a line that was (as this particular gas station chain tends to be) better organized and efficient, and trustworthy, then the average Jersey gas station.
Such differences (among gas stations and gas lines) I, not being a native Jerseyan like Jim, always fumble at. My inner 'be nice' Asian American mentality kicked in when I let a BMW who was pulling out from a gym into the line. Silly gullible me assumed they just wanted to drive through, but (I'm sure to the annoyance of the man behind me whose driver's window had a plastic sheet taped over it) they didn't, HEY. But I was able to overcome my tendency to believe everything said to me (at least at first) by the authorities when I shrugged at a cop informing me I should know there might not be any gas left when I got to the front of the line. ABER NEIN, DANKE SCHÖN!
Anyways, I had come prepared, with my two coffee thermoses too and what Jim refers to as a 'nuts 'n' berries' vitamin-laced food bar.
I got home while Jim and Charlie were on another bike ride. I made several calls and found out that Charlie's favorite Mexican fast food chain had a location open further north, so off we went to a town next to the little town where both of Jim's parents grew up and the town were Jim's grandfather (on his mom's side) once lived on a farm (this town was where a trailer park flooded after a berm was breached; residents had to be evacuated).
This was a very common sight.
People were clearly waiting far longer than the measly two hours I had and on the highways, especially the Garden Parkway at the rest stop gas stations.
Exhausted by his efforts to hold himself together through all this unusual nerve-wracking activity (including Mom in the back seat), Charlie went to sleep with the ocean waves playing on his iPad at 7pm only to wake at 3.30am and come running frantically down the stairs to check on where his lunchboxes are (on the kitchen table -- let's just say, hope the Big Autism Center opens Monday; I'm not so sure). Jim explained about the power still being out and I said we'd all be together and Charlie went back to bed, to the sound of the waves.