Gas here has hit the wall. The station at the corner of Beverly and LaCienega is at $4.99 for a gallon for regular. My commute to work is ten miles each way. Now I realise that gas prices are falling and that perhaps that this is an expensive station, but history has taught me that the high that was unthinkably unbearable quickly becomes not only a baseline cost, but a fond memory: just in the past few years I remember outrage at the idea of $3.00 gas and the $4.00 gas hazzerei was about three months ago, right? Of course, there are the usual suspects that want to use this excuse to drill for oil from everyplace from the California coast to the average teen's forehead, never mind that it would have be the equivalent of accidentally cutting your leg off at the knee with a chain-saw and then worrying about the state of your pedicure. What it means (at least for me, cheap ass that I am) is that we need to reinterpret our priorities. Do we need to drive 3 miles to a MacDonalds to buy a coke? Do we need to have a car that will take care of the absolute 100th percent of our possible needs when 99 percent of the time we don't need to? I mean, okay you have to tow a boat. 24/7? I've stuffed a gaggle of teens into a Civic for a trip to the Getty. Was it pleasant? No. It was also mercifully short, but you know, unless those teens were willing to pony up for a rental they could freaking well deal with it. Shanks Mare would have been worse.
Of course it's easy for the childless (oh fine, friendless also, thanks so much for pointing that out...) to suggest that you could make these changes. Even in notorious public transport-free Los Angeles, we have enough public transportation that I can commute to work not using a car, and even on the weekend a trip to Santa Monica the bus takes a while but is gilded by the fact that I can ignore parking restrictions and permit only zones.
For me that $5.00 was the breaking point. I've shifted my idea of a dream car. I chortle at the ads for BMWs I previously lusted after proclaiming 25 mpg highway. 25? Call me when it's 50!
Personally I am all over the Generals new car, the Chevrolet Volt (the graphic comes from them). Yes, the bad, bad evil GM is doing it's corporate damndest to get us pretty much close to a gas-free car. All I ask is that they please be so kind as to give us a convertible version.
Now that's auto porn a penurious New England Puritan can sign onto...