Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fuel-Related Pet Peeves

It's bad enough listening to the people wanting politicians to "do something" about the high cost of fuel. Here's what I'd do: tax the shit out of it. Assholes who spend $60k, $70k or more for an SUV in this day and age should be able to afford it. And use that tax money to improve public transportation for the rest of us, and provide rebates to those near the poverty level who have no choice but to drive. However, I do realize any kind of government program that has to track and manage rebates for a certain group is going to end up costing as much to manage as it collects in taxes, if not more.

I just get tired of listening to stupid people (who are financially doing OK) complaining about what it costs to fill up a vehicle which they themselves made a conscious decision to purchase it, and knowing up-front the pathetic fuel economy of the vehicle.
Bryan Carisone, a heating and air-conditioning contractor in Raritan, N.J., “absolutely loves” his new GMC Denali XL, an extra-large sport utility vehicle with televisions built into the leather seats. But in June, one week after he bought it, he pulled into a station on a near-empty tank and watched the total climb higher and higher — to $109.

“It just about killed me,” Mr. Carisone said.

Oh my God. I am just filled with pity for the guy. Here's a suggestion: you made a mistake; deal with it. I feel pity for the people who need trucks and vans for their work; not so much pity for the Hummer drivers who use it to run to the supermarket for a $25 bag of groceries. Nor do I have much pity for the "soccer moms" who thought buying a behemoth to haul the brats and their equipment to soccer practice would make them part of some elitist club and they could feel equal to their peers. I'm sorry, but fuck that shit.

What is really starting to yank my chain is the emphasis on what it costs to fill a tank vs. actual gas mileage. Like all tanks and all vehicles are equal. Check out this next bit of insanity.
Families that were accustomed to the convenience of sport utility vehicles are having to cut back as well. Colleen Hammond of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, loves packing her three kids and all their soccer gear into her 2000 GMC Yukon XL. But she hates paying $160 to fill the 38.5-gallon tank. Last month, she parked the Yukon in her driveway and borrowed her friend’s Toyota Land Cruiser.

“I don’t know if it gets better gas mileage, but I like her car because it costs $100 to fill it,” said Ms. Hammond, 40. “I think $100 for a tank of gas is cheap now.”

Hello!!? Does anyone sense a disconnect here? Switching from a Yukon XL to a Land Cruiser because it only costs $100 to fill it means absofuckinglutely NOTHING! It means the tank doesn't hold as much; the gas isn't any cheaper! Jesus H. Christ, people are stupid. You fill it up more often! For god's sake, TAX these idiots!
Many consumers whose tanks would easily swallow $100 worth of gas refuse to pump that much at once, just to avoid the trauma.

“Usually I don’t let it get real empty so that I don’t have to see that $100 on the pump,” said Bob Hammond, 61, of Chesterland, Ohio, who drives an Avalanche. “It’s a mental thing.”

Yes, it's a mental thing and it's called insanity.

Sigh... sometimes I feel like I need to bang my head against a brick wall.

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