Welcome, drivers. Have you noticed it costs approximately one IKEA dresser to fill a car with gas? Have you stood at the pump, gaping at the number as if witnessing a rhinoceros birth? Have you read several wonky deep dives on oil price determinants and wished you’d spent less time in economics class imagining fancy lady heads in the gum stuck to seats?
These are the tips for you!
Gas prices have climbed higher than ever, surpassing a 2008 record. Tampa Bay fuel has been well over $4 a gallon. Between the war in Ukraine, an American ban on Russian oil, supply, demand and antsy traders, prices are expected to keep going up, the way we are expected to keep waking up, incredibly.
AAA, helping people avoid learning to change a tire for more than a century, has blanketed the media with fuel-saving tips. Let’s examine them.
“Maintain your vehicle to optimize fuel economy.”
Take the car in for a tune-up. Get an oil change, rotate the tires and… replace… wait, what filter now? For how much? OK, yeah, I guess that sounds important. Power steering pump? No, it wasn’t making noise, but now that you mention it... And which fluid is dirty, exactly? What is a pulley? No, I know what a “pulley” is, but I mean… No, I had not noticed that windshield chip. I am so glad I’m saving money on gas.
“Remove excess weight in your vehicle.”
Empty your trunk to lighten the load. In fact, empty your personal baggage, which is weighing down the car and your soul. Studies show people use 10 percent more energy when clinging to memories of a fight about “emotional unavailability” eight years ago outside a T.G.I. Friday’s.
“Enroll in savings programs.”
AAA suggests a Shell program because they have a partnership. Also consider joining a bulk membership club like Costco or BJ’s for discount gas. It’s fun to sit in eternal lines at the pump and block the store driveway. Lots of friendly waves with the longest finger! While you’re at the store, stock up on water, nonperishable foods, headlamps, gauze, multitools, duct tape, cords to snare wild game and crowbars.
Ease up on the accelerator. Driving slow also provides a chance for a mental stemwinder. Start with the harrowing situation in Ukraine, then shift to internalized guilt over your relative privilege, then wonder if you’re becoming that meme of a lady sitting in a comfortable house complaining about living through historic events, then decide to humbly endure gas prices to stick it to Russia, then remember a lot of people can’t really afford to do that and that the working class always gets… sticken… to, which reminds you how Florida is now The Hunger Games Capitol of Panem with legislators guffawing over plates of fine jellies and inventing hateful nonsense laws, then cough a couple times and wonder if you have COVID-19, then recall a link a friend sent about a Japanese volcanic rock that contained a death demon until the ROCK BROKE OPEN, which really explains a lot, and then, for no reason at all, think of a dinner party the other night and how it should have been obvious you said NICE BOOTS and not BOOBS, then feel the entire surface of your skin crawl, and that brings you back to the fight at the T.G.I. Friday’s and how you weren’t wrong about emotional unavailability, he just wasn’t listening, which proves your point, then remember you are supposed to unload emotional baggage in order to save gas money, then stop because — wait — the gas light is on.
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