I have a confession, I am human. What this is means is that occasionally I get irritated by some of the things that common people do. However, instead of writing about my cheap hatred for Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber for easy kudos I try to dig a little deeper. Unfortunately the constancy of having to endure the predictable complaints of those around me forces my level of annoyance to the point where I must spew a little bile back. Today I bring you a post which I consider hack material however I need to talk about it because I can't afford a therapist.
The human need to obsess over the cost of things that don't cost that much.
1) Gas Prices. Attention everybody, gas prices go up in the summer time. Every year the price of gas will probably increase a little bit more due to inflation. There is no need to track via televised bar graph how gas was cheaper during the winter and as summer approaches the gas prices have slowly climbed. In addition, there is no need to do a news story about hybrids and electric cars. I don't need to see footage of someone trading in their truck for an economy car. I don't need tips from a self impressed penny pincher on how to shift my car into neutral and turn the ignition on and off while driving in order to get 2 more miles per gallon. I don't need to choke the life out of one more person who says "can you believe the price of gas?" I don't need email forwards with lame jokes or cartoons that allude to the fact that you have to sell your house in order to fill up your tank. I don't need a website that tells me where to get gas that is 3 cents cheaper a gallon.
Let's do the math on this so we can finally put it to bed. Unless you are driving something ostentatious your car can at maximum can hold 14 gallons. We usually however only put in 12 maximum. At best I pay about 3.70 a gallon and at worst I pay about 4.50. that is a difference of 80 cents at the worst of times per gallon. On average we fill up our gas tanks once a week. So at the worst of times I am spending $9.60 more per week to fill up my gas tank. Should we alert the media every time that we have to spend 9.60?
2) I was always told to turn the lights off as a kid. "Turn the Lights off, you're wasting electricity!" It was as though every kilowatt was being gleaned from Lord Raiden himself. Every minute I basked beneath the warm and comforting glow of a light bulb I was sucking the soul from the god of lightning. The reality is of course that leaving a light on for an hour of any wattage would cost no more than $0.60. I don't know about you, but I don't think you can buy anything these days for 60 cents that will keep you busy for an hour.
The same goes for running water and fridge doors that are left open. If we crunch the numbers the extra ten seconds that you spend brushing your teeth or scrounging around for the horseradish aren't going to break the bank.
3) Speaking of the bank, how often have you been driving around in the car when you've heard this little gem:
Them: Hey I need to use an ATM to get some cash.
Me: Okay, There is one right up here on the left at the Walgreens.
Them: It is a Wells Fargo?
Me: No, it is an independently owned machine that charges you a small convenience fee.
Them: How much is the fee?
Me: Between 2 and 3 dollars.
Them: 3 dollars, I think I just dropped a deuce in my drawers. That is absurd, I won't pay it.
Me: Okay, well the nearest Wells Fargo is across town through rush hour traffic and by the time we get back from there we will be too tired and it will be too late to do what we had planned thus wasting the entire day.
Them: That sounds like a lovely idea, let's go to Wells Fargo.
Me: Realistically idling in traffic and driving 30 miles will probably waste more gas than just eating the 2 dollar convenience fee. Since I know how much you hate wasting gas perhaps this is a better alternative?
Them: What, you think I'm made of money?
4) Finally, I don't know how many times my mother has had to "get off the phone" because of her fear that the long distance costs will be through the roof. Dear mother at 0.10 cents a minute it only cost you 6 dollars per hour to talk to me. I realize that your understanding of a phone is stuck back in the Alexander Graham Bell era but prices have declined a little over the years. We are no longer in the days of telegrams and Morse code. I'm an adult now, you can just tell me that you are bored of our conversation and that there is an online bridge tournament starting in ten minutes. Don't worry, I'll return the favor when you're on life support and there is a nearby casino with a Hold'em tournament. win-win-win.
That's it for the Hack Material Post #1. Join me next time I think of something super hackey to complain about.