Running on Empty: Gas Saving Tips

May 6, 2008

Everybody is feeling the pinch these days…gas prices are through the roof anymore, and more and more people are angry and cheap.

I know a thing or two about saving gas. My very first car, a Plymouth Caravelle, was notable for two things. First, it was the first car to be produced that was made to look like it was the computer car from the future, but did not, in fact, contain any computers at all. They had three different buttons you could press to turn on the radio, manufactured for no other reason except that it was possible to do. My car looked like a cross between an airplane cockpit and the commode after Star Trek threw up. The other notable thing about it was that my car had an energy efficiency rating such that that, when I pulled up to the pump at the gas station, I would get better gas mileage if I poured the gasoline directly onto the ground instead of actually into my gas tank. As a perennially poor teenager (or, more accurately, a teenager who perennially spent all his money on hair gel and They Might Be Giants CDs instead of transportation costs), I found creative ways to improve my mileage, namely, hoodwinking my friends to drive me places.

So I’d like to say I have a pretty sharp eye when it comes to saving gas. I present, then, as a free consumer benefit, a list of gas-saving tips:

When pumping gas at the station, drive there either early in the morning or late at night. Doing so will not only net you dozens of cents in savings, it is also the perfect time to coldcock the attendant and grab all the money out of the register, since that’s a lot more efficient than making an extra trip to the station to gain a few drops of Regular 87 off of The Man.

Encourage India and China to go to war with each other, preferably with nuclear weapons. This is likely to decrease demand of oil and customer service operators.

Try mixing one part gasoline with three parts water, which should increase your gasoline volume by 300%! I think. Anyway, engines are hot and boil all the water away so you don’t need to worry about it stalling out. Your car loves it! I think. Sawdust works too.

Be born in Saudi Arabia.

Car pool with other people! It’s not only an energy efficient way to travel, but you’ll also get to know your co-workers better. Because if there’s someone you want to spend an additional hour in cramped quarters with every day, it’s the people you already spend eight hours with all week like listening to their boo-hooing every day.

Why make five trips to the grocery store when one will do? Consolidate your trips. Instead of picking up your daughter at soccer practice, let her stay there. Hell, she’s already got practice three times a freakin’ week, and it’s always when House is on. If she loves soccer so damn much she won’t mind.

Boycott the oil companies! Boycotting has done so much to reign in companies in the past, I can’t imagine it not working. Sure, of the 118,000,000 barrels of oil consumed by the world each day, not putting eight gallons in your tank on a random Tuesday will send just the signal to OPEC and the oil companies need!

Try riding a bike! You’ll get exercise and save on gas and smell like a locker room when you get to work. This assumes that you work at a place that is downhill both ways to and from home. And doesn’t have winter. Or rain. Or thieves.

Drive the speed limit; this will save gas. Also, it will make you a pussy.

Support a tax holiday! Politicians are ready to temporarily repeal the gas tax until oh, I don’t know, about the middle of November or so. Supporting a policy that will encourage people to buy more gas is exactly the kind of thing that will bring prices down! At least it will in Fantasy Land after the Laws of Supply and Demand are repealed by King Lumblydum and the Queen Ladybug.

Use public transportation! Public transportation such as light rail, buses, and subways use significantly less oil per passenger than driving your old heap to work every day. Sure, you won’t get to choose your time of arrival or departure, can’t carry anything bigger than a folded-over newspaper, have to sit next to a guy that smells like Play-Dough and vomit, feel guilty about not standing up when some old bat gets on, which is every freakin’ stop anymore, and can’t stop at Wendy’s for a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger you’ve been craving since ten o’clock, but at least over the course of a year you can save about twenty bucks or so.

Purchase and drive a smaller car with better gas mileage. Ha ha! Just kidding. Seriously, you should think about doing the whole stealing money from the cash register thing.