I just got an email from Mary-Ellen, who wanted to know whether Madison had any full-service gas stations.
"My Mom is in her 80's and lives in Madison," Mary-Ellen said. "In this cold weather is there a gas station that is full service so she doesn't have to pump her own gas?"
The answer is yes, Madison is lucky enough to have not one but two full-service gas stations, one on either end of the commercial/restaurant/retail/office district on the Boston Post Road in the center of town.
Hammonasset Service Station, at 905 Boston Post Road, is at the corner of East Wharf Road (across the street from East Wharf Road).
Sunoco Service Station at 608 Boston Post Road, at the intersection of Route 79 (across the street from Route 79).
Patrick Moriarty, who works at the Sunoco Service Station, says business has definitely picked up since the cold snap.
"It's picked up a lot," he said. "Let's say it's about 75 percent regular customers, and 25 percent saying 'it's too cold for me.'"
You'll pay a little bit more for full service, but you'll also get your windows cleaned if you want (although I often tell them to forget it when it's this cold), and they can check your oil, and help you with your tires, if you need it. Of course, it might be nice to let all that wait until the weather warms up a bit.
Both stations also provide other automotive services. And here's the deal ... that's where they make most of their money, as I understand it. Even with the few pennies per gallon that these gas stations add, selling the gas itself is often a break-even proposition, or even a loss leader, done so that they can encourage people to use their other services.
So, let's not just be foul-weather friends, let's make sure we give them our business, for gas and other services, when the weather is nice too.