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Aghast at soaring prices - Chris Goltermann

The feeling was like being at auction, watching your most prized item slowly float out of range of your wallet.

$10... $15.... $20... before finally resting at $25.

My car's gas tank couldn't take it any more. Thank goodness.

The ole 1996 Saturn SL2 turns 10 years old in just a few weeks, and boy has she been around. From Evansville, Ind. to Early County (twice over a three week span), as a former sports reporter and editor my driver's seat has engaged quite a relationship with my bottom over the past decade. At 235,000 miles and counting, there's still no signs of divorce - even with a battery that's about to check out this week.

But never had her tank sucked up $25 of gas. That was, until Monday afternoon.

I'm not going to beat a dead horse about gas prices. We're going to need all the thoroughbreds we can get our hands on pretty soon.

But it seems just like yesterday when I arrived in Georgia from Yankeeville to smile at gas prices of 89-cents. Filling up my 10-gallon tank always left room for a Mountain Dew. Now it's left everyone with mountains of credit card debt to battle.

Really, some of this had to be expected. Who are we kidding? As my Dad would say, "You think gas grows on trees?"

Yet I always figured that the day I pumped $3 gas would be the same one that my daughter asked for a $100 to go to the movies for a ticket and some popcorn, and said, "Bring me back the five bucks that's left."

As always, we tend to watch the price of the things that are most important to us. Every wife has probably had that moment when her husband looks at her in the supermarket and says, "When did milk get to be $3.69 a gallon?" That's if they can get them in the supermarket in the first place. Since my daughter was born, I've watched milk prices rise as much as gas prices.

Then again, some prices never change. Ten years ago a CD was $15.99. Go to most stores nowadays and you're paying the same amount. I guess it's better than the movies, where every sporadic trip I now make, adds a dollar to the ticket.

Some times you can wait out the price if you're patient enough. Nevertheless, it's getting harder and harder to hold off on that big screen TV I've been dreaming about, especially with football season at hand.

Everything, though, runs on supply and demand of course. And hopefully, with hurricane season heading into the fourth quarter, we can survive the winter without wearing four sweaters in our own house to keep the heating bill below "first born child."

Until then, it's just watch, wait and hope that gas prices can find a happy medium between today's $3 and yesterday's 89-cents. Regardless, I'll be keeping a painful eye on the board just like the rest of us before gassing up the old girl.

Wonder how much bicycles are going for nowadays?

Chris Goltermann is a page designer for the Daily Herald and the Weekend edition. He can be reached at cgoltermann@news-daily.com