Not so long ago, when I was living in Seattle, gas was a buck fifty a gallon. How things change.

Fortunately, the price of gasoline doesn’t affect my pocket directly in the limo game. The company absorbs that cost, but even so, it’s smart to find the lowest price. The one exception is Citgo stations. Sending money to a repressive arsehole like Hugo Chavez is counterproductive, unless you’re an advocate of turning democracies into dictatorships.

My choice of where to refuel the car isn’t just based on the price. The trend towards gas stations becoming fast-food and grocery stops appears to be accelerating, which is a good thing for me. Coffee is the big thing now. New stations have enormous coffee centres, with pretty decent quality black stuff too. That is often accompanied by the Krispy Kreme fat case, a temptation I’m proud to say I almost always avoid.

One of our regular limousine customers builds and operates such places. He and his wife are very down-to-earth people, a delight to drive. They confirmed that gasoline sales basically only break-even, and that their profit is derived mostly from sales in the store. Soft drinks, beer and (no surprise) coffee. Funny how business works.

Then again, they must be selling a lot of coffee, because they have just finished building an eight million dollar house in California wine country. Maybe the gas does more than break even.