A lot of the people whose blogs I read regularly (okay, all of them) are geeks. This is probably because we are all geeks in some way, and those ways tend to manifest themselves quite openly when we're writing semi-anonymously on the internet. And hooray for that, I say. I'm writing this preface as an apology for my own new-found geekiness that I am about to bore you with, should you choose to read on: I am becoming a fuel-efficiency geek.
You may recall a post I wrote a while back about slowing down to save gas (a post I then adapted into a short article for publication and got paid for; not sure if they ever actually ran it). I was just getting started then, but have since increased my mileage with each successive tank of gas. I've maintained my self imposed speed-limit, jacked up the air pressure in my tires, and continue to refine my driving habits. The tank of gas I'm on right know has taken me 450 miles and I've still got just under a quarter of it to go (it's a 20-gallon tank). This won't impress any Prius drivers, but it's pretty sweet for a pickup truck.
Yesterday, though, I met my match. Tooling down the interstate in the right lane at a fuel-efficient 54 mph, I came upon... another car. Another car? Of course there are other cars on the interstate at 5:45 p.m. on a Tuesday, lots of them in fact. But at 54 mph, I never come upon them, they come upon me, and really quickly (that sounds ridiculously dirty to more perverted readers, I'm sure.) Seriously, some asshole was doing 50 in the right lane! The nerve! That's my gig! He stole my thing! I'm the slow guy, dickhead, not you! Toyota-driving, fuel-sipping do-gooder. Get your own thing. Toyotas are for cheaters, anyway. (Or maybe he read my proselytizing article. I didn't think of that.)
So I passed him to the right in the exit-only lane (without accelerating, of course, because that wastes gas) and looked him over real good as I slid by at my breakneck 54 mph, sizing up the competition, you know.
I reclaimed my mantle as king of the slowpokes this morning, though. The kind lady in the brand new Chevy Silverado who was nice enough to let me in to the line of traffic bacame a bit antsy as I drifted over the Henley Street Bridge, allowing my momentum to carry me the quarter-mile to the red light up ahead. No sense burning gas to get to a red light faster, right? She zoomed around me and pulled in front; of course, seconds later I rolled slowly to a stop right behind her and we both sat and waited for the light to change. Eventually, the people on Chapman Highway in the morning are going to start recognizing me and quit letting me in line.
You hate drivers like me, don't you?
I don't give a shit, because somehow I'm going to get 30 miles per gallon out of my 12-year-old truck. Somehow. And then I will laugh heartily at Silverado lady and her silly 15 mpg. Her truck is shinier, though. Maybe she gets a laugh out of that at my expense. Good for her.