The Perma-Bear texted me at lunch on Tuesday, “$2.04 gas on Natural Bridge.” I think that he is looking to pick up a little extra cash before Christmas. Here’s the back story, in ’08 I bet the Perma-Bear that gas in Saint Louis would hit $5/gallon before it hit $2. Loser buys the winner a gallon of gasoline. I liked the odds at the time. A few years ago, when gas hit $4.75, I had to remind the Perma-Bear of our bet, but as his text implies, he’s all in now. That night, Anne heard on the news that gas has broken the $2 barrier, in the Saint Louis area, with a price of $1.95. I will pay my debt, but the Perma-Bear is out of the office until Friday. That leaves me a little bit of wiggle room, because I expect that gas prices will continue to fall. If when I next meet the Bear and gas is less than $2/gallon, should I pay the two-bucks or should I pay the going market rate at the time? I think that if I pay him two-bucks and a gallon is less than that then I’m overpaying my debt, because fundamentally the bet was over a gallon of gas. I want to honor my debt and if that debt is $2 or $1.95, so be it. We’ll work it out, but what if I don’t see the Perma-Bear on Friday? That opens all sorts of possibilities. I’ll be off work until next year and that means two more weeks of falling gas prices. How low can we go? All of this might seem like weaseling to the casual observer, but I believe that the Perma-Bear enjoys this game-play as much as I do. I want to honor my bet, but since it will be a cash exchange, it has to be face-to-face. The question is when will we next meet?