Cooling my wheels

Cooling my wheels

I just overheard one of the talking heads on television speculate that crude oil will reach $200 a barrel in the next two years. He predicted that will translate to $6 a gallon for fuel at the pump. Yikes! Not only will it cost us more to operate our vehicles, it could drive a dozen eggs to $5, milk to $7 a gallon, and so on, and so on down the line.

Are we destined to return to the days of the horse and buggy? The lowly mule may even come back in style. Won’t do me any good…my yard is so small I don’t have room for another tomato plant much less a mule.

So I’m protesting the only way I know how. I’m parking my car this week and nothing – absolutely nothing – will force me to crank it up. I don’t care if Lancôme puts their night cream on sale for half price, or Wal-mart is giving away toilet paper. If I can’t hoof it – I won’t have it. That’s my new mantra.

I ‘m fortunate that I live in the Central Business District of my town and I can get to the library, my bank, my church, the grocery store, and my hairdresser in a half mile either way. Where else would I need to go? Others should be so lucky.

I bought one of those reusable “green bags” to take along to the Jiggly Wiggly. Sorry, Kroger, you are just too far away. I broke it in on Sunday afternoon when I hiked over for a bag of dog food. I would have to make more than one trip since Lucky and Rebel’s Kibbles ‘n Bits took up the entire bag.

I parked the dog chow on the back porch then retraced my steps to pick up some “people food.” My little truck sat there looking dejected and very enticing, but nope, I resisted the temptation to take the easy way out. I guess I’m going to have to give my keys to someone to hold during my “gasoline diet.”

I bopped along dutifully with my new iPod plugged up – it was my Mother’s Day present – my boys are determined to turn me into a techno-mom. I suddenly realized this wasn’t half bad. My thoughts began to wander to my grandfather who operated what they called a “Dry Goods” store for some five decades in a small southern town. He walked to and from the store every day of his life plus a round trip for lunch and another if he needed a nap. He lived to the ripe old age of 96.

Somewhere, along about 1952 he bought a car, but on his maiden voyage, he put the car in drive instead of reverse and barreled through the south wall of the garage straight into the chicken coop. I don’t think anyone ever drove that car again. It was still sitting in the two-sided garage when he died.

One idea being tossed around as a way of dealing with this crisis is the four-day work week. Several states are considering it. It’s an idea that may gain traction and I, for one, think it’s a terrific idea. There will be more people in the neighborhood for me to play with during the week.

I’m not sure how long I can hold out, but I’m going for two weeks – unless it rains, or the temperature climbs into the 90s. My gasoline diet is like all my other diets – they last only as long as they don’t make my hair droop or cause perspiration.

5 thoughts on “Cooling my wheels

  1. Hey Emily, I think that is great! I am thinking about biking to work each day it is not raining. I even bought one of those bike attachments so that I can drop my 5 year old off at daycare on the way. If the city of starkville would build more sidewalks, I think more peeps would do the same.

  2. Emily remains my favorite columnist. Loved the
    “My gasoline diet is like all my other diets-they last only as long as they don’t make my hair droop or cause perspiration”, Maureen Dowd eat your heart out.

  3. Lisa, What’s a peep?? Caution! Don’t take everything Ms. Emily says at face value. This could all be just a ploy to shirk her commitment to exercise at the Wellness Center which is probably too far to walk to. She can be slippery; she calls her SUV a ‘little truck’. I do like her bike planter though. The footed bathtub with the petunias planted in it are probably on the other side of the house.

  4. Emily Jones | |

    May I jump in to show you how thoroughly modern I am. “Peeps” is rap talk for your “peoples” – your clan, your buddies – the peeps you hang with.

    Now Tom, how you know so much about me since we’ve never met. You are correct. I haven’t been to the gym since I began the gas diet – sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it (I’ve been wanting to use that word for the longest- I hear it at least 50 times a day on Cable News – and can never figure out what exactly it means. I call my SUV a truck because I removed the back seats and use it like a pick ‘um up truck. (That way I never have to take my car when I go out with friends – no seats! Smart, huh?)

    From Cooling my wheels, 2008/05/15 at 8:30 AM

  5. Well, I have bought a bike — Pink Schwinn like I had when I was young — and hope I can still ride like when I was young. This is my answer to the high price of gas and also to my exercise regime!! Hopefully, since I also live close to downtown area, I can get to necessary shops and not have to crank the SUV so often!! So, get a bike and join me and friend Jane who started all this when she mentioned finding a good deal on a bike.

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