The Isuzu Trooper turned over to 175,000 miles the other day, so to celebrate I hit the pump for some of that sweet, sweet almost-three-buck-a-gallon unleaded. Ah, there’s nothing like approaching the $60 mark for a tank of gas. It’s the logical and welcome progression of capitalism, and it makes me super-proud to be an American!
When I started driving I had a ’69 Chevy Malibu but no job, so I used to roll up pennies and buy fifty cents worth of gas at a time. I couldn’t get far on that, but I sure got there fast. Adults allowing a kid to drive a car like that is clearly insane, and quite possibly child abuse.
First of all, it was just too god damned fast. Like Road Warior fast. It would start to shake something fierce when I got it up over 110 mph, but I still tried to peg the speedometer, which topped out at 120.
So you can see, not a safe ride. Not at that age, not in that state of mind. Also, driving that car ruined me forever. Every car I’ve driven since feels woefully underpowered and boring.
Due to numerous, colorful run-ins with local law enforcement, I lost my license shortly after I got it and had to watch my stepfather climb into my sweet ride every morning and commute in the motherfucker. A fate worse than death, for both me and the car.
After a few years of buses and mooching rides I got a driver’s license again, and when I was 20 or 21 I would spend about five dollars a week on gas. More than the 50 cents of the Malibu days, but still a number one can come to grips with. Back then I could drive for two or three months on what I spend now every five days or so.
Of course I drive way too much these days. 60 miles a day just to work and back. So I’m looking for a second job to pay for the gas to get me to the first one. I know I can work this out — one job to pay the rent, one job to get the gas to get me to the first job, another job to pay for something to eat — nothing to it.