The other day at the pump, I paid $3.72 for a gallon of unleaded gasoline.
I consider myself a "one-fourther," meaning I'm someone who puts in a quarter tank of gas at a time and knows that just because the dashboard light says "Low Fuel," it doesn't mean the tank is dry.
I believe in fumes.
"We're not going to make it to church Mauricio. You need to pull over somewhere for gas," my wife Leti said last Sunday.
"Don't worry babe, I'm barely under the red line. I've got at least 20 miles left in there," I said while coasting on gas fumes.
I also limit my gas purchases to $20 at a time. So as gas prices fluctuate, some weeks $20 in gas will get me six gallons or sometimes seven.
"Give me $20 on pump five," I always say to the man or woman at the register. Five is my lucky number.
Gas prices are on the rise. President Barack Obama is encouraging all Americans to invest in green technology. During a recent press conference, when asked what the public should do in the face of increasing gas costs, he said we should buy a "green" vehicle.
I am rather attached to my old Ford F-150. It is all paid up and has only 150,000 miles on the odometer. I love my old pickup.
But I do have an idea for those looking towards "green" technology to meet their transportation needs. We should ride dogs.
In the novel "The Earth Abides" by George R. Stewart, most of humanity is wiped out by a plague. The survivors slowly distance themselves from automobiles and other technology as the generations pass. At one point, they use small chariots attached to a pack of dogs for transportation, just like sled dogs used in Alaska and elsewhere.
I figure small children could ride a single large dog, like a horse. Older children can ride skateboards while holding several dogs by long leashes, and adults can ride in mini chariots, with a large pack of dogs running ahead of them. By "large," I mean a group made up of 12 to 16 dogs.
When you include all the maintenance costs associated with owning a vehicle over the lifetime of that vehicle, including gas and insurance costs, that amount could easily be used instead to cover the cost of dog food.
And the best part is it's "green" transportation. It satisfies our president's desire for cash strapped Americans to invest in alternative forms of energy. Plus, dog power is a win-win for us all.
Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr. is a reporter with The Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.