I'm starting to run out of four-letter words to use every time I drive past a gas station in New Jersey.

It's almost to the point where you blink and you miss the price going up.

Case in point, I went to work Thursday morning and at one gas station, regular unleaded was $4.739. And if you looked hard enough, one or two places were still at $4.699 (quite a bargain).

About eight hours later when I was driving home, gas at that same station had gone up to $4.879.

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Holy sh-- well, you know what I mean.

Friday morning, gas was still at $4.879.

Eight hours later when I was driving home, that same gas station was up to $4.959.

That's a 22-cent increase in about 36 hours.

Holy sh-- well, you know. All too well.

Now, I know there are all kinds of factors at play here. Gas/oil is a commodity and prices go up and down. There's supply and demand. Oh, and war on the other side of the planet has taken all of Russia's oil off of the table. We haven't built a new refinery in this country in decades. There are massive truckloads of money being made by massive oil companies. We have inept politicians who talk about helping the average Joe yet they don't actually do anything (how about instead of talking about temporarily suspending the gas tax in New Jersey, one of our self-centered elected officials makes it happen?). Build the pipeline. Don't build the pipeline. Drive an electric car. Hell, I'm ready to buy a horse at this point. I'll gallop to work everyday if I have to.

Gas prices on January 13th 2021 in Egg Harbor Township - Photo: Chris Coleman
Gas prices on January 13th 2021 in Egg Harbor Township - Photo: Chris Coleman

And keep this in mind -- we're all wondering when gas will hit $5/gallon in New Jersey (I mean, widespread -- I know many places are already at that mark). When it does, it's not going to stop there. There's nothing happening to make it stop there.

And God help us if there's a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico this summer and that disrupts things even more.

$1.49 Gas Prices in Turnersville, Gloucester County in 2016 / Photo: Townsquare Media
$1.49 Gas Prices in Turnersville, Gloucester County in 2016 / Photo: Townsquare Media

I'm not being an alarmist here, I'm just thinking out-loud -- we're at $5. $6 and $7 are the next stops on the train.

How much longer can this go on? That $5 mark is pretty scary. $6 and $7 are terrifying. When the average person who is just barely making ends meet in this state has to drop a hundred bucks or more at the gas pump just to get to work and they've already had their rent go up 20 or 30%, something has to give.

There's an old saying, "this too shall pass." Let's hope it happens pretty quickly. In the meantime, hold your breath, New Jersey, 'cause we're in for a hell of a ride (that we can't afford the gas for).

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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