By Jeff Girod
The California average for gas last week was $4.66 a gallon. The cheapest gas locally was $4.41 per gallon for unleaded at the Corona Gas Station, where the store is so cheap it couldn’t afford a creative name and they just throw the gas at your windshield in a rusted paint can.
In the last five years, gas prices have gone up about $1.80 per gallon, according to losangelesgasprices.com For a 15-gallon tank, filled up 6 times per month, that’s nearly $2,000 more per year. Or let’s say you only use half that much gas. Do you really want to pay $1,000 more for the same gas as before?
It’s the same gas! Five-dollar gas doesn’t make your car run better or drive faster than the $2.87 gas in 2008. For $5 a gallon, my car should be able to fly . . . and talk. Gas should be cherry flavored and I should have the option of putting it in my car or a 64-ounce cup with crushed ice and a silly straw.
Buying gas is the most soulless wasteful habit there is. And for what? Just to go to the same boring places to do the same awful things you hate doing for somebody else every day? Does anyone wonder why our economy is still in the pooper and everyone walks around with a frownie face?
And while we’re at it, screw everyone who drives a hybrid. Just because your tiny chum bucket uses a thimble of gas every other Groundhog Day doesn’t make you superior to the rest of us. You’re still cramped inside a compact the size of Tupperware. And no respecting man, woman or child should ever be caught dead riding in anything called a “Leaf.”
For the thousands I spend on gas I should at the very least get to enjoy a drug problem. I would rather take the bus everywhere and spend my $400 a month on cocaine or hookers. I’m sure I could find at least one hooker that offers squeegee service and free inflation.
You always hear some lame-assed excuse about why everyone has to raise gas prices. There’s some shortage here or a refinery fire there. Or some country you’ve never heard of in the Middle East is warring with some angry hill people who somehow control the entire world’s oil supply with rifles on horseback.
What’s odd is gas prices never go back down after the shortage passes or they put the refinery fire out or the hill people are valiantly thwarted. Or even better, I’ve never gone to a gas station and been pleasantly surprised that prices have inexplicably dropped to buy-one-get-one-free.
Just once I’d like to hear an oil executive say, “Turns out, we found a whole bunch of extra gasoline in one of our storage facilities. If we didn’t pass along those savings to you, our consumers, why, we’d have to be soulless royal assholes. Some might even call us criminal.”
I don’t know exactly how most things work—mortgage rates, 401ks, Lindsay Lohan’s parole—but I’m certain we’re all getting screwed on gas prices. Prices always, ALWAYS go up. And whatever small break we get, whatever money we’re able to earn or save or hide from the government, it goes directly into our deep, dark gas tanks.
Gas is currently almost $5 a gallon. Seeing a movie costs about $10. So instead of filling up your gas tank just one time you could’ve seen every Lord of the Rings movie and all of the Harry Potter’s in the theater. Talk about wizardry. Fill up twice a week and see how fast you can make your checking account disappear.
Think of the wondrous possibilities if gas were just $1 per gallon. Everyone could drive places they wanted to instead of places they have to. We wouldn’t work so hard just to feel like we’re going through life with the emergency brake on.
And, most importantly, we might finally get to hear those two magical words that have all but been erased from our social vocabulary: road trip.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.