(By Stephanie Becker, TODAY Producer)
On the Today show this morning, the bad news about the pumped up prices expected this summer for filling up your tank. I work out of Burbank, where the price of gas at my local station is topping out at $3.11 and 9/10th to be precise. By the way who's the marketing genius that thought up the 9/10th of a cent solution to make us think it's really cheaper than it is?
Now, even before I get into my car I ask myself, "Is it gas worthy?" I've been paraphrasing that famous line from Seinfeld's Elaine so often I ought to pay her residuals. What makes an excursion worth the price of ignition?
Now my gas guzzling forays involve the precision of a NASA launch. Preparation is the key. My Map quest is a through-line so fuel efficient that I can finally prove to generations of geometry students that yes indeed, you do use this stuff in real life. Thank you Mr. Gill. The mind-bending chaos of locus theory brought to life.
You might remember that President Bush said in the state of the union that it is our duty not to squander that 87 octane. I am all for that. Patriotism has become my perfect alibi for begging off blind dates and bad movies. And to prove I can sacrifice I have a list of car trip "no-no's." I have now forbidden myself to just run out to get one or two necessities... like toilet paper and milk or the latest People Magazine. I even added an emergency Chunky Monkey ice cream run to the forbidden list, no matter how pre-menstrual I am. Oh, the humanity! The guilt I feel just thinking about driving to the gym is enough to keep me permanently plotzed on the couch.
The truth is, I do have an alternative fuel supply. I am the only producer here in Burbank who actually bikes to work. It's 1.76 miles home to office. Downhill to work. Uphill home. There may be some sort philosophical point to be made by that, but I'd like to keep my job. And I suppose I could double dip on my trip home and also pick up a little ice cream on the route back. But I haven't figured out how to keep it from melting during my sweaty uphill climb. So, maybe I'll cut myself and break and declare ice cream runs, gas worthy.