Rolling With Biggy the Hypermiler
Biggy has a new obsession, which has replaced his most recent preoccupation, which was with the bathroom scales. So now, instead of hearing, "Guess how much I weigh today?" or "I lost 3 1/2 pounds overnight," I get a running progress report on his gas mileage: "I probably saved a gallon of gas today by drafting behind a FedEx truck. By the way, did you know UPS maps out their delivery routes so they never have to turn left and idle in traffic?"
Last night, we were on our way to a big time at the invitation-by-word-of-mouth opening of The Lucky Leprechaun in Alpharetta. If lucky equals free dinner, we're there. Not wanting to appear too eager, we'd decided to leave home around 8 pm, so I'd been hungry for a couple of hours already. But my husband didn't care that I'd mic'd myself a tortilla with cheese at noon, then jogged three miles, vacuumed about 4000 sq. ft. of house, and climbed the stairs a hundred times looking for his socks and glasses. All he cared about was what color the traffic light a quarter mile ahead of us would be when we got to it. He was practicing his timing, meaning he was crawling at 15 mph to keep from having to brake. Thus began our conversation:
Biggy: If you stop,you have to accelerate afterward. You never want to push the gas if you can help it.
TR: How 'bout we just walk. We'd get there quicker and it wouldn't cost you a dime.
Biggy: I don't think you're appreciating the challenge of this. It's like a game.
TR: If you used the time you'd save getting from point a to point b without this bullshit, you could play Life instead.
He put the car in neutral and coasted down a hill. When the uphill began, he barely tapped the gas:
Biggy: You know how we typically try to maintain the same speed going up, which requires steadily increasing the acceleration? Well, you shouldn't do that. You should just press the gas at one level and let the car go at its own rate.
TR: My stomach is eating itself. Look, this is ridiculous. I'll give you a damned dollar.
Biggy: Dollar nothing. If I added even one mile to every gallon...
TR: If you want better gas mileage, sell this mutherfukker and get yourself a Civic. This is like buying Baccarat crystal and then having to drink Boones Farm. It's like buying Ruffoni cookware and eating Ramen.
Biggy: Not the same at all. Anyway, you know I needed a bigger car to tow with. A Civic wouldn't pull a camper.
TR: WHAT CAMPER?! This reminds me of The Gift of the Magi.
TR: You never heard that story growing up? I can't remember it all, but the gist was this: There was a poor couple. The wife had beautiful long hair. The husband had a watch he loved, and the band was broken. They couldn't afford to buy each other Christmas presents, but when the day came, she gave him a new watch band, for which she'd sold her hair, and he gave her an exquisite comb, for which he'd sold his watch.
Biggy: How is this like that?
TR: You bought the FJ so you could tow a camper and now we can't afford a camper. It's not exactly the same, true. Our story is missing the heartwarming sentiments.
Biggy: Oh my god; you are so messed up.
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...