Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Some friends and I were at our favorite pizza place (Sizzle Pi, over in Kingston, for you locals) and when we looked out the window, all we could see was the front grille and windshield of a big SUV. Or a tank; it was hard to tell the difference. Anyway, it was one of those “8 mpg and you got a problem with that?” vehicles that runs on testosterone.

It brought me back to my early days when I lived a block away from an Air Traffic Controller who worked at a very nearby airport. He had what has evolved into a moped, but this Present At The Creation model had bicycle pedals along with a motor. He explained that he had to pedal up to ten or fifteen miles per hour and then the motor would kick in. After that, he would go putting along at hardly any mpg; the gas tank probably held a gallon and he may have filled it once a month.

To this day, I wonder if he could have expressed it in “miles per pint.” It sure would impress people. “My Chevy gets 25 miles per gallon.” “My moped gets 25 miles per pint; it costs me (going rate for a gallon) to fill ‘er up.”

I had another friend who lived behind us and worked near the same airport. He had a Crossley automobile. In case you have forgotten, or are too young to know, think of the new car, the Element, that’s running around these days. Then reduce it by ¾ or less and make it less stylish, increase the mpg and you’ve got one of the most practical cars made.

What we drive now are monsters compared to the Crossley. Too bad it’s gone.


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