Did someone say there was an energy crisis? You couldn’t prove that by our weekend driving experience.
My wife and I packed up the old Buick that gets about 26 miles-per-gallon rather than the diesel truck that gets … well, let’s just say less MPG than the Buick gets … and headed off to Beaumont where three pre-school-aged grandchildren awaited our arrival.
We decided to be good stewards of our country’s apparently lacking fuel supply and drove for about 250 miles each way at the posted speed limit in an effort to practice being conservation-minded.
After a few short miles on Interstate 10 we realized that we were in the automotive equivalent of the running of the bulls events in Spain. My rear-view mirror continually provided graphic close-up images of rams, mustangs, bulldogs and other exciting fast-moving automotive symbols taking aim on our vehicle’s rear-end as my fellow countrymen and women debated whether to go around us or over the top of us—energy crisis or not.
Even though we almost always stayed in the far right “slow” lane of traffic, it seemed to us that we were the slowest vehicle on the highway–with the occasional exception of a few highway patrol units driving very slow in the “fast” lane.
Obviously, these fine officers of the law were being very patriotic in their efforts to conserve fuel. We even passed a few of them on the right just to demonstrate that we were conservatives too.
But the surprising thing to us was just how many patriotic citizens were on the road this weekend.
We keep a small “Proud Parents of a United States Marine” sticker on our vehicle’s rear window out of respect for our son and all other active duty personnel.
It was amazing to us just how many people zooming by us would take a moment out of their busy travel day to give us a hand salute and some even honked their horns as they flew by.
I guess they have better eyesight than I do. I sure couldn’t read that little sticker driving by that fast.
And, during the one time that we stopped to gas-up our tank a few miles outside of Houston, a young man came over to us and started to wash our windshield. Before I began to pump in the fuel, I thanked him for his generosity and he asked me in broken English if I wanted to get some gasoline “for a lot cheaper than this place?”
At about that same time one of those nice state troopers pulled into the gas station. So, of course I waved at him. When I turned back to again thank the nice young man for washing our windshield … he was gone.
Had he not disappeared, I probably would have given him a little tip for doing such a good job on the windshield. Well, at least on my side. Apparently he didn’t have enough time to finish my wife’s side of the windshield.
He seemed too young to own a gas station. I wonder where that gasoline came from that he said was a lot cheaper?
I’m surprised that he could find gasoline much less cheaper to sell especially with the increase in gasoline “drive-offs” and all. Can you imagine people actually not paying for their gasoline once they put it in their tank!
What’s this world coming to?
Well, we had a wonderful time in Beaumont.
And, after returning to Kingsbury we calculated the amount of money that we saved by just driving the speed-limit.
You know what? That amount was almost enough to pay for our lunch at McDonalds. Well, not counting the drinks.
But, every little bit counts!
Especially since we discovered that we had forgotten to turn off the air-conditioner during our two-day Beaumont getaway.
You know, I’m not sure if I turned off the soaker hose in the backyard either!
Dag-nab energy crisis!
© Submitted by Bob Grafe for publication on July 17, 2008.