I Stopped Buying Gas at Circle K

Resolutions have never been my thing, mainly because I'm a compulsive liar — especially to myself. I'll tell myself on New Year's Eve, "Self, this is the year we lose 50 pounds," and even as I'm making the vow, I'm reaching for the cheesecake, because I feel such guilt over my resolution being such crap. That's why, when I found a promise I could keep, I stuck with it for five years.

The resolution? Not to get gas at a Circle K.

This was back in 1998. I went into Circle K with a nearly flat tire and discovered that the air machine, which previously had charged customers a quarter, now cost 50 cents. Confused over the price of air doubling overnight, I called Tosco, Circle K's corporate parent at the time, and raised hell. And since I was a columnist for a big local daily newspaper at the time, they actually called me back to blame a greedy subcontractor.

Damn air guys. What, you thought OPEC was the problem?

I ended up getting two columns out of the deal and later the resolution, which I repeated until 2003, when I ran out of gas near Seventh Street and Bethany Home Road. If it wasn't about 300 degrees that day, I might have hung tough, but Circle K was close, I was sweaty and fat and that was that.

Looking back, it was a fine show of resolve. I might try it again in 2009 — because that 50 pounds simply ain't happening.

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David Leibowitz