A quick check of the news is unnecessary.  Every time I stop at a gas station, I know the top story of the day.  I’ve never paid so much for the privilege of driving.  Unfortunately, for my day job, it’s a requirement, so I’ll continue to cry as I fill the tank and I’ll continue to fill the tank.

But it got me thinking about joyriding.

There are two types of joyriding, and I imagine the current climate has had an impact on both.

Firstly, there’s the illegal kind, where someone hitches a ride in your car, without you present, and burns around town, wastes all your fuel, and drops off your car in the parking lot of some supermarket you would never, ever, in your worst nightmares, have considered shopping.

Instances of this, I imagine, have risen, as the joyriders don’t want to fuel their own high horsepower, madly tricked out sex machines.

The other kind is when you get in the car and drive.  For the pleasure of it.  “Where you going?”  “Oh, I don’t know, out.”  And then you drive, aimlessly, sometimes for hours, up and down highways and byways, avenues and country lanes.  It’s something of an exploration, whether of the town/city in which you live or the stuff within your head/body/soul.

This kind of joyriding, I fear, may be quickly becoming a thing of the past.

There’s a restaurant on the water, about an hour’s drive from me, which serves this incredible alfredo seafood nacho thing, but it’s so far away I doubt I’ll make the journey, not if it’s costing four bucks a gallon.  That becomes one expensive plate of nachos, eh?

I drove to the beach last weekend.  Cost over a hundred bucks in gas.  (The beach is question is not close, but it’s a whole other world, and well worth the trip.)  I don’t know what it used to cost, not exactly, because it never really mattered.  Used to be, it wasn’t an issue to get in your car and go somewhere.

I’m not advocating joyrides of either type.  Nor am I advocating random and pointless waste of fuel and/or resources.  However, I am lamenting how much it’s costing me to do my day job, and how much more out of reach the little pleasures of life are becoming as gas prices rise.

When I lived in Sydney, I didn’t need a car to get from here to there.  I walked to work, and to any shops I needed, and to many places of play.  I hopped the bus or train if I needed to go further.  On rare occasions, I called a taxi, and twice (both times for long distance journeys beyond the reach of Sydney’s rail system), I rented a car.  In some places, it’s impossible to accomplish anything without a car; it’d be over an hour worth of walking for me to get to the nearest grocer.  Each way.

1 Comment

  1. “This kind of joyriding, I fear, may be quickly becoming a thing of the past.”

    I agree. My friend Mike and I used to do this once a week. I was thinking just last night about when September 11th happened and after work everyone was freaking out and saying “You better fill your tank, gas is gonna go up!” And most gas stations were freaking out, too, and had already raised their prices to $3.00!!!!!

    I saw yesterday gas is up to $3.79 here now. What I wouldn’t give for $3.00.

    Joyriding is definitely going to become a thing of the past. And that’s too bad!

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