Shaken, Not Stirred. Gas mileage.

July 10, 2016
Jim Bond

Jim Bond

#ShakenNotStirred #MasonCountyPress

Shaken, Not Stirred. A blog by Jim Bond.

“Jim, you’re going to kill yourself!”

“Yeah, maybe, but I’ll die knowing that I have a Cadillac that gets 99 miles per gallon”

The above conversation actually took place, maybe 20 years ago, after I had related an incident to my small children’s mother.

I had just purchased one of the down-sized GM offerings, which was equipped with an instantaneous readout of gas mileage. Hit one button, it would tell you the average miles-per-gallon; hit another it would indicate your miles-per-gallon at that exact moment.

Wow!

I was like a kid with a new video game.

There is this golf course about 5 miles from the house. I’d hit the crest of the hill and descend past the golf course for almost half a mile, just cruising. And the read-out went to 99 mpg.

I’d never been ‘gas conscious’ before. Oh, I’d had two Volkswagens, mixed in with an Olds convertible, other full-sized American iron. There was even a Corvette in the mix.

But now, it was like a game…how many miles per gallon can I get. What’s the maximum efficiency?

In the intervening years it’s become something of an obsession. If I detect a light is going to turn red, I slow ahead of time, waiting for the light to turn green to avoid starting again from a dead stop.  At the bank drive-through, I shut the engine off. In a carwash, I shift into neutral and…shut the engine off. I strap my seatbelt on before I start the car…all to save a percentage of a tenth of a gallon of gas.

Yes, this started as an exercise in frugality. But in the past couple of decades it’s also had to do with what I call the ‘Carbon Stomp Print’.

I happen to believe the science that indicates the climate is changing and human consumption and irresponsibility is a large portion of that change.

Now before you hit the comment button and start a diatribe about what a hypocrite I am, and (as was commented in last week’s blog) what an inflated ego I have, I’ll admit it. I’m inconsistent. And, I’m rather consistent in my inconsistency.

But, do any of us have the disposable income to let a car sit idling at Wesco while we run in for an energy drink and a pack of cigarettes…?

“Oh, I’ll take a lottery ticket too…these people can wait in line while I scratch and sniff to see if I won the $2 to cover the gas I’m wasting while my rusting pick-em-up truck sits idling in your parking lot.

“I’m sorry, what? Oh, the billowing smoke? No problem.

“Gee, maybe I better get a quart of oil as long as I’m here.

“Hey did you read that old man’s post in Mason County Press last week about getting on the freeway? What a bald-headed old crank! Well, I fixed him. I recognized his car as I was getting on 31 South Tuesday…so I showered down on ole Bessy there and hit the highway at about 85…left a plume of smoke that looked like a crop duster had flown over.

“Oh, the dog sittin’ out there? It’s okay, I closed up all the windows so he wouldn’t choke on the smoke.

“Let me get a Mountain Dew while I’m here…sure am thirsty in this heat!”

So…shut off the motor.

Save a few bucks.

Help the environment.

Pull up your pants, and…

Get Off My Lawn!

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