Lines of cars stretched for over ten miles in every direction from Newcastle on Monday morning, as a gas station running a $3.80 per gallon promotion was overwhelmed by thousands of rabid motorists.
Beginning at 7:00 in the morning, Hayden’s Chevron at the corner of Coal Creek Parkway and Newcastle Way offered gas at only $3.80 per gallon, over fifty cents less than the usual current price.
People began queuing up at the station about 3:00 Sunday afternoon, station manager Harrison Phoenix said. By the time the station opened this morning, virtually every road into Newcastle was packed with cars, their drivers anxious to get in on the amazing deal.
Shoreline resident Karen Haighton waited in line for seven hours to fill up her Ford Expedition. “I saved over $16,” she said. “That will buy me at least two or three loaves of organic whole-grain bread at Trader Joe’s.”
At 9:00 lines stretched south through Renton, north through Redmond, and east through Issaquah, bringing neighborhood traffic to a standstill throughout southeast King County. Many drivers at the ends of the lines appeared to be unaware of what they were waiting for. “I hear some store in Kirkland is giving away free ‘Impeach Bush’ bumper stickers,” said one motorist waiting in a Renton portion of the line.
Those drivers that did know the real reason for the queues were predictably enthusiastic about the promotion. “Gas is probably going to be $15 a gallon by this time next year,” said Bothell resident Madison Parker, “getting it for this cheap is an unbelievable opportunity.”
As the cost of gas continues to climb, Seattle-area drivers are becoming increasingly desperate to cut back costs any way they can, making difficult sacrifices such as buying a new mid-sized sedan instead of a full-size and walking into Starbucks instead of waiting in the drive-thru.
“I’m willing to do anything to save on gas,” said Haighton. When asked whether she would consider taking public transit or riding a bicycle, she clarified her statement: “anything that isn’t moderately inconvenient, I mean.”
The $3.80 gas promotion in Newcastle is scheduled to end at 9:00 tonight. All motorists still waiting in the thirty-seven plus lines to the station at that time will be given vouchers and allowed to fill up at the promotional price any time in the next seven days. Local police throughout King County will be on hand to keep rioting to a minimum.