Gas, quit screwing with me
(That above photo was taken Wednesday morning. It’s from a Shell station that closed up shop last fall. Ignore the car wash part…)
Yeah, yeah, we all know it’s the watercooler topic of late. But who cares. These gas prices are fan-freaking-tastic. We’re talking 2004 levels. Makes you want to love a Hummer again. Hot damn. Never in recent memory has it been so wonderful to stick a nozzle into a hole. (huzzah!)
This whole $1.80 a gallon is like a mind trip. Just last winter, approaching the pump gave an uncomfortable feeling in a person’s gut. It felt like being that poor intern again, in line at the grocery store, hoping, praying that the Visa would go through so you could be on your way with a Snickers and Cherry Coke Big Gulp. Although, the prices last winter also reduced the amount of trips you took by car. It was awesome for pollution and it’s also a big reason why the prices are cheap right now. But when you’re stuck in a place like East Cleveland, not making a trip by car means you're not taking a trip at all. Mass transit in some parts of the country isn’t safe for skinny-ass white boys listening to Matt and Kim on their iPods. So you just had to cope. Do the minor thing. Put as small amount of gas in the engine as possible. Yeah, it’s a million little cuts. But it’s better than one big gaping wound. Even if both end up killing you.
Now, driving around an old gas hog with six-digit mileage doesn’t feel so horrid. And maybe that’s the bad knock against our reduction movement. Driving more than necessary doesn’t make you feel bad about the environment. Consumption only makes you feel stupid-dumb when it’s expensive and you can feel it drain your bar tab with every acceleration. It's like one of those old-man maxims: Money issues hit harder than altruistic guilt.
Anyways, we’ve reached a place where everything is different. Looking at low prices on the gas signs is awesome. It’s like back in the day when you walked past Foot Locker and saw that the Bo Jackson cross-trainers were half-off. Serious. It’s that sort of feeling. Part stress reduction and part thrill: this shit is in my range again. (Note: never got the shoes. Always out of my parent’s budget. Had to go with pump-less Reebok Blacktops instead. At least Sinbad endorsed them…)
God, it’s bad. I just want to drive and drive. My bike is in the garage. Tires going flat. And books on tape are looking sexy again. Pop in a Krakauer adventure novel and drive until the epilogue.
These gas prices. They’re bad/good. And in the back of your head you know the $4-a-gallon range will happen again quick. That sign from the past is a warning for the future.
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