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Saturday AM

We were shopping but hungry. We'd just been to the Farmer's Market and were now headed to Wal-Mart for the paper. But because we didn't want to take hunger to Wal-Mart [bad idea], we stopped at the local bagel shop for a cavity filling repast.

This bagel shop has four or five outdoor tables [kinda hokey in a strip mall] and is next door to a discount gas station--Speedway--which says it's owned by Sonoco. Anyway, we were out front with a dozen others--bald bikers with so many tattoos you couldn't tell if they even had clothes on, old guys with what I took to be their daughters, and the usual assortment of retirees from Michigan.

The gas station has one of those three-story signs, so drivers can see the price of their product for at least a mile in any direction. It reads "Unleaded 299.9." And suddenly, this is about 8 AM and I'm halfway through my jalapeno bagel with lox, there is a gas station kid changing the prices of their products.

He has a long pole with a suction cup on the end. He smacks a number on the sign with the suction cup, the number sticks, then he lifts it down. He replaces the removed number with a different on, and puts it up.

He starts with the high price stuff. We--all of us eater--watch. He changes the high-price stuff first. Premium, as it used to be called, goes from 323.9 to 329.9. Then the mid grade goes from 306.9 to 312.9.

At this point, a slight breeze begins to flutter the flags and pennants that decorate the gas station. The kid has no trouble getting the old 299.9 down, but every time he tries to get a 3 up, the breeze picks it off the suction cup and sends it sailing.

And every time it goes sailing, the eaters--the old guys, the retirees, the bikers--stand up and cheer.

Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.1 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Sunset Zone 25
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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