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Fuel Rage

These past two weeks I, along with most Americans, spent more time watching the rising gas prices on the stations’ signs than The O.C. or The Amazing Race.

Gasoline. Petroleum. What in the world makes this stuff so expensive all of a sudden? Is it like milk and beef during the mad cow outbreaks? Did all the petroleum-producing countries suddenly start foaming at the mouth and stumbling around? I hope not. And I also have no clue and am too lazy at the moment to do any proper research that would keep me from looking like a fool with my explanation. So I blame it on the French. No, not really. But seriously I think they have had some underhanded hand (can they do that?) in it.

If they weren’t using up all the potatoes making those fries of theirs, I would be getting in my Potato Hybrid H2 (PHH2) when I leave the office today. I would stop at the local supermarket and fill ’er up with potato oil at 15 cents a gallon. My total purchase after a Snickers and Diet Coke would be roughly around $5 or probably $6. But instead of boring you with all my scientifically correct facts, I will attempt to put things in perspective. I drive a 2001 Mazda Protégé with a 13-gallon tank. With gas averaging $2.15 a gallon (at least as of when I am writing this), I pay about $27.95. That hurts the pocket book. I might have to cut back on the 10-cent text messages soon. On my salary I can afford to fill up maybe half a tank. Three quarters if I only eat every other day. BUT, put in proper perspective, that is not too bad. If my car ran on, let’s say, Ice Thirst Quencher Orange Gatorade, at $7.96 a gallon, I would spend $103.48 to fill up. But that is ridiculous.

Let’s keep this a little more rational. How about … milk, at $2.79 a gallon, would cost $36.27 to fill up. And if we stay in the same food group, ice cream would cost me $51.61 at $3.97 a gallon. As we all know, ice cream has to have chocolate syrup. Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup is currently $13.59 a gallon, making my sweet fill-up $176.79. But let’s try to keep our vehicles healthy. If I were to fill up with V8 tomato juice, I would pay a cool $201.24 at $15.48 gallon. And sometimes my car likes to be trendy too. So at $9.76 a gallon for Evian bottled water, I’d spend $126.88.

Then the ultimate get-up-and-go fuel for the morning: Starbucks coffee. According to the Starbucks employee who answered the phone when I called (Kevin, I think), the two most popular drinks served are the Caramel Macchiato and the White Chocolate Mocha. If I were to fill my car with the Caramel Macchiato, it would only be $351.10 … and for the White Chocolate Mocha it would cost me a mere $386.88 … but it’s worth it for good coffee, right?

So I guess the moral of the story is to only use gasoline in your car, and you will save money. Oh yeah, and if you can, lay off the Starbucks runs.

[Chris Troutman has a job in media but only works to live. He enjoys film, music, literature, people, coffee and the Church.]

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