Wednesday, July 09, 2008

#420 Fuel: the Upside

#420 Fuel: the Upside

Yes, there may be an upside to the stratospheric cost of gasoline. Call it a Norman-Vincent-Pealesque quest, but here it is:

High fuel prices will make you a better driver.

Huh?

Yes, high fuel prices will make you a better driver.

First, they'll get you to question "is this trip necessary?" That was a slogan during the rationing days of World War II. It worked. Why? Because not driving was the patriotic thing to do. (We understood patriotism in those days.)

You'll cut down on unnecessary trips just to save a few bucks. The less time you spend on the road, the less chance you have of getting into an accident.

Second, when you ARE on the road, you're going to be a little more careful about how you use your car. You'll plan routes instead of just rolling onto the road and going somewhere. When you are being consciously careful about one thing, you may be unconsciously careful about some others. Like making sure you use your signals, even for lane changes. (You remember SIGNALS, don't you? They operate with that little stick coming out of the steering column post. You use them to tell others where you intend to go. You remember OTHERS, don't you?)

You will probably not floor it through an intersection. You may even obey the speed limit -- even if it used to seem silly.

You probably won't race to a red light and jam on the brakes, instead breaking slowly as you approach the light.

You'll be more careful about tire pressure, which we all know affects milage and improves reliability on the road.

What you WON'T do is carpool. We don't carpool unless we HAVE to. Our cars are our castles. We don't let anyone inside whom we don't have to, and we don't go into others' cars when we don't have to.

But other than that, we may become a nation of safer drivers, and all because the trip is so expensive we want to make sure we want to pour our money into the tank and not into the register at the auto body shop.




Shrapnel:

--This guy proved his faith, alright. And it wasn't the sign on the trunk of his car, "read the Bible." The proof was that the car was an old Plymouth Neon with California plates and that it was still running -- and had made it to Pennsylvania.

--Some time in the 1940s or 50s, the guitarist Merle Travis had motorcycle mechanic Paul Bigsby put a special neck on his Martin guitar. The Martin company was big-time unhappy with the populr Travis' "distortion" of one of its instrument. But times change and now, Martin is putting out a replica of the altered guitar and charging about seven grand for each of the 100 they'll make.

--Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. But don't be too eager. Today, the mice will probably sue, charging you with species profiling.


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)
(C)2008 WJR

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