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Friday, June 06, 2008

Musings after a Trip to the Pump

I bought my car 10 years ago this August. It’s a lavender, 1997 Geo Prizim, which is essentially an 11-year-old Toyota Corolla with GM body. I could drive my car to San Diego and Back eight times before needing to fill the gas tank. I can also drive from Rochester to Boston on one tank of gas. It’s a great car, even though the air/heat doesn’t work anymore, the driver’s side door won’t unlock from the outside (no power locks on this beaut) and the driver’s side roof leaks onto the seat when it precipitates. (Thank you, trusty garbage bag that keeps my seat dry when it rains.) The tape deck (yes folks, no CDs here) eats tapes now, which I learned the hard way when it ate a mix tape I made in college a few months ago) so I have to listen to the radio whenever I drive, or my iPod-Radio Adapter if I can’t stand Boston radio stations anymore. (I’m down to Mike FM – it’s random enough to almost be my iPod. Almost. I wouldn’t play so much Huey Lewis though.) But despite all the things that are not so glamorous about my car, it gets wonderful gas mileage. To see how fuel efficient a Geo is – particularly mine, which was made to California Emmisions standards which are some of, if not the, highest standards in the nation – check out this link.

Back when I bought my car, it cost me just over $10 to fill up the tank. It is just now rounding on 10 years later, and it costs me $41.40 to fill the tank. That’s 4 times as much as it did 10 years ago. 4 times!!! Not enough time has passed for it to have gone up that much. I understand the whole inflation thing, that coffee used to cost my grandparents 10 cents a cup 50 years ago and now (unless you go to Starbucks) it’s 2 or 3 dollars. But 10 years is not inflation, it’s greed and insanity and political jack-assedness. I know all about weak dollar and the supply and demand worries and all of that stuff that is contributing, but it all boils down to greed. Greed keeps us from having alternative means of fueling things, though that is finally, slowly, starting to make its way to the forefront. (I won’t be able to afford a hybrid anytime soon, though, with the economy’s joyous outlook and that whole being laid off thing.) Big Oil is more important to the big cheeses than, say, sending money toward education and student financial aid, Universal Health Care, or countless other issues that plague our country from the inside.

During the 10 years it has been since I paid $0.95 a gallon (and though that was high) I’ve been laid off twice, and have ever so slowly been scooping myself out of the debt that being laid off while still paying for my college education put on me. And of those 10 years, 8 of them were under the current administration. I do not find this at all coincidence. I don’t usually get political on this blog but when I filled up the tank on my little Geo this morning and saw the total I almost crapped my own head.

I just want to say one thing about Barak, or to him, if he ever happens across this humble little blog. All I want from him is to prove me wrong in my thinking about politicians in general. If you can do that, AFTER you have my vote, then there is hope, because let me tell you sir, my thinking about politicians in general is limited to pretty much everyone sucks except for my Grandpa.

I suppose we shall see.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about the lay off...I agree with you 100% on the Greed factor. After spending $29 for a half a tank of gas for my dad's Hyundai Santa Fe and $34 for 1/2 a tank of gas for my Saturn LS200 I have no idea where we are going to end up.

When I bought the saturn in 2002, half a tank of gas was $15. INSANE!

I'm not a political person either but SOMETHING has to change!

BobbaLew said...


Our ‘89 Honda Civic got 29 mpg; not too bad for a heavy all-wheel-drive car about the size of your Prism; except it was a wagon.
The Honda CR-V we replaced it with gets 24+. (I keep track.) The salesman at Ontario Honda bragged about the great mileage it got — the sticker said 26.
“Old car got 29,” I said.

BobbaLew said...

RE: “Big Oil is more important to the big cheeses than, say, sending money toward education and student financial aid, Universal Health Care, or countless other issues that plague our country from the inside......” —Keep that sword going, Marcy!
And I woulda be shot dead in Vietnam had it not been for Johnson’s “National-Defense-Student-Loan” program.