March 04, 2004

Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don't

Of course the big story recently in the news is how horrendously high gas prices have risen. Think of the joy here at Chez Cheese when I read that San Diego has the highest gas prices in the nation. Naturally, in an effort to boost ratings by creating an atmosphere of panic and undue urgency fueled by near-hysterical news anchors looking grim and announcing the End Of All Civilization As We Know It via automobile consumption educate the public, the local TV news ran a little piece on ways to cut your gas useage. The first four made perfect sense for a change.... maintain a clean air filter, check your fuel filter, keep good tire pressure, and make sure you have good spark plugs.
The fifth was just stupid.
They said drivers should "avoid stop-and-go traffic and don't drive on hills."
San Diego is the home of the 23rd worst highway bottleneck, not to mention normal day-to-day commutes that takes an average of an hour, if there are no wrecks or construction in your way. San Diego is also built on a series of canyons and hills. To avoid stop-and-go traffic and hilly areas, your commute must be done via sea, air, or wormhole.
Why in the name of Exxon, then, do they give useless advice like this?
I think it's all in the sacred name of blame. Making the victim appear guilty to throw off the stench scent. If you wind up taking out a second mortgage to buy fuel for the Family Truckster, and you try to bewail that sad fact.... well, did you follow all five of our recommendations? No? You drove on roads and up and down hills? Well, then, clearly the fault isn't on greedy oil companies' heads.
It's all you. Youa culpa, youa maxima culpa.
Rational, logical argument? Hell no.
But there's nothing rational about $2.50 a gallon, either.
I knew Santa should have brought me a pony.

Posted by LeeAnn at March 4, 2004 05:17 PM

More likely it's because the dorks at the station just ran some canned copy, without bothering to even read it for applicability to the local situation.

Investigative journalism? But that's, like, work!!!

Posted by: Light & Dark at March 4, 2004 06:01 PM

Heh - they say the same thing in Chicago. Except here there are no hills. You'd never know that from the people though - they must buy SUV's because otherwise driving in the snow is too dangerous!!! (Translated, this means they might actually have to pay attention to what they are doing instead of eating and talking on 2 cell phones at once, while typing on their computer).

However, you should hear the screeching if gas gets anywhere near $2.00/gal. I love it. It's the Sadist in me.

Posted by: Teresa at March 4, 2004 07:30 PM

Let's take it to $3.00 and see if some are still chanting "Blood for Oil".

Posted by: Genuine at March 4, 2004 07:39 PM

Now I feel bad for complaining about it being $1.53 a gallon here... I'll take that over $2.50 any day! (not trying to rub it in, I swear)

Posted by: Mel at March 4, 2004 09:11 PM

Well, I hope I got that right:
As far as I know a gallon is 3.78 litres, right?
Lets say an Euro is about a Dollar (more or less).
Gas prices her in Germany are about 1.10 Euro per litre. So that will be 4.1 Euros = Dollars per gallon. Taxes are about 90 %. It is said that prices in Norway and France are even higher. So you are really lucky having 2.50 over there.

Posted by: Werner at March 6, 2004 02:08 AM

Here, Here LeeAnn!

To you Eurodupes: Just be cause you are in an even more unfortunate position then the USdupes doesn't mean the USdupes are lucky. Both are without luck to different degrees.

Posted by: Bob Sweeney at March 7, 2004 08:02 AM

I loved that last bit of advice. Obviously all those people are on Xanax and don't notice the traffic.

Posted by: Da Goddess at March 7, 2004 12:36 PM