Friday, November 9, 2007

Pomona, city of mystery

Lincoln Park residents know Crime Corner well: Garey and Alvarado. The Stater Brothers is home to drug-dealers and general no-goodniks; the methadone house draws former sinners that could go off the rails at any moment; and the Auto-Lodge features more peignoir-clad ladies lounging in doorways at mid-day than is quite proper even in a Tennessee Williams play.

Now I've noticed something else -- Avarice to add to the Lust, Sloth, and Gluttony that we pass by every day.

Namely, why is the Philips 66 charging 11¢ more per gallon than any other station? K. -- who takes his motor sports seriously -- hasn't heard anything about P66 being special as gas goes. The station itself is as grubby as you would expect of Crime Corner. And yet self-serve unleaded was $3.37 yesterday.

If it was a front for drug-dealing, I would think the prices would be normal, in order to promote enough honest traffic to cover for the dishonest (à la dry-cleaners and copy shops). I hardly think it's a crypto-bordello, despite all the promising jokes about putting a tiger in your tank (if you're old enough to remember the old Esso ads) -- a gas station doesn't really provide much privacy to get your happy ending on. I just can't figure it out.

Any hypotheses out there? And failing that, any suggestions for how Crime Corner can cover the other three cardinal sins (wrath, envy, and pride, in case you've shaken off your parochial-school training)?


me said...

Perhaps the extra insurance premiums the gas station owners must pay for operating a business off that corner mean higher tank prices?

I always thought the deserted gas station kiddy corner to the soon-to-be-deserted-one you speak of would make a great LIncoln Park Dog Park. Some Asian American guy actually comes and sweeps the area around the old gas pumps from time to time, and trims the one bush. Go figure.

Ed said...

Not too belittle such a fine tax-paying establishment, but I would expect the Auto Lodge has its share of wrath, envy, and pride (maybe sequentially) showing up in at least one of the rooms.

meg said...

Good points, both of you.

But, Ed, to really live up to the biblical conception of capital-P Pride, I would think that across Garey, on "our" side of the street, there should be an impeccably-restored 1905 mansion, recently profiled in *American Bungalow* or the like.

Ed said...

Sorry to be so crass, but when I was referring to pride in an Auto Lodge room it was with Biblical proportions in mind.

But it was wrong of me to heap that cardinal sin on that side of the street. So to make amends, I'm unofficially inviting LP residents to participate in the Lincoln Elementary food drive. For a couple of years, Lincoln Elem PTA has been distributing food baskets to needy Lincoln families. It's a great opportunity to help a needy family in your community (you probably see them at Stater Bros). Both food and cash are being collected, but call the school first (909-397-4624). Let them know you are from the Lincoln Park neighborhood and want to contribute. You may have to be insistent. Come on LP, isn't this opportunity one of the reasons we chose Pomona.

Meg, sorry for the hijack, but the segue was just too easy--offer an act of humility to counter any excess LP pride (materialism).