Expensive gas to improve blood pressure

Grant McGee

We’ve been watching the price of gas leapfrog up.

The biggest jump was the last day of August. Passing the convenience store at Seventh and Hull after lunch, I saw the price was $2.70 for a gallon of unleaded regular.

On my way home from work, it had gone up to $2.90.

At this writing it’s $3 a gallon.

Hurricane Katrina and gas prices have been the topic of discussion all over town, haven’t they?

We’re doing something about the hurricane disaster; people in our area are reaching into their pockets, contributing to the relief effort and organizing events to raise funds and help.

The price of gasoline, that’s another thing.

I got an e-mail calling for a one-day boycott of gasoline and diesel fuels.

Problem was, I got the e-mail on Sept. 1 and the boycott was supposed to be on Sept. 1. I think someone could use a seminar on event planning. Notifying by e-mail was a step up from the notices of a one-day boycott of diesel fuel some truckers were pushing a while back; those were on stall walls of numerous truck stop bathrooms.

I was fueling up the other day — $15 for a little over five gallons. I laughed a bit, remembering. When I first started driving, I could fill up my 1965 Ford drop-top 289 V-8 “Falcoon” for five bucks.

I remembered the rough formula for calculating prices into today’s dollars from years ago. I can’t remember where I first heard it but it went something like “prices double every 10 years.”

Using the rough inflation calculation formula (something I’m sure educators, accountants and economists frown upon): If a gallon of regular gasoline cost 35 cents in 1973, that would make it 70 cents in 1983, $1.40 in 1993 and $2.80 in 2003. This actually means that we got off cheap for a while.
So what to do about high gas prices?

I reckon we can’t do much. I don’t think I’m imagining fewer cars and pickups on Prince Street, seeing more adults on bicycles, or seeing a few more motorcycles.

I’ve been riding my bicycle to work for almost two years now. An acquaintance saw me the other day and thought I was doing it to save gas. It started off as a way to fight high blood pressure and get some exercise, now it seems to have an added benefit of saving money.

I calculated the cost of going to work in a vehicle. The ol’ VW bus gets 15 miles to the gallon. That comes out to a dollar each way for a vehicle commute.

That gives me motivation to just keep on riding the bicycle.
The Lady of the House doesn’t want to ride a bicycle now; she said she doesn’t like getting all hot and sweaty.

She’s pondering getting a goat and carriage. I think that’s a pretty cool idea, I’ve seen those.

There she’d be, going to the grocery store to stock up on the weekly vittles, tiny little reins in her hand driving a trotting goat down Llano Estacado.

Then the goat could hang around the house and keep the grass trimmed, one less chore I’d have to do.

Lower blood pressure, some goat cheese and no more lawn mowing — maybe this high gas price situation isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: