Obama Was Right About The Tires

In a campaign where every day there is a new slam, a new poll, and a new controversy, the little details can get lost. Well, I don’t know if anyone recalls this, but about three months ago Barack Obama had mentioned in a speech that one way to save energy was to check to make sure your tires were properly inflated. Thus, giving you better gas mileage and cutting down on fossil fuel usage. Now, I have known about this on some level for years, but to be honest I never really put it all together into a cohesive thought like “Hey if I check my tires to make sure they’re inflated to a proper number, I could save energy!” No sir, I just kind of didn’t worry about tires unless they had holes in them or were falling off as I assume many people do. Of course, per the usual right wing scenario, Obama was lambasted and roundly mocked for his “inflate your tires” call to arms by the usual suspects: Hannity, Limbaugh, and of course McCain. They all ripped on him and screamed “drill here, drill now” which was the mantra before Palin sexed it up with “drill baby, drill!”

Well, I am here to proudly announce that Mr. Obama’s call to arms works. And it works DAMN WELL. See, for the last three or four months I’ve been perplexed as to why my Prius went from getting 45 miles to the gallon to 36. I even asked the dealership to check it when I took it in for it’s 5,000 mile check up. Nothing. Nothing they said. The guys who are supposedly experts on this car (or at least formally trained by Toyota to service them) had no explanation as to why this was happening. I felt like I had gotten the one hybrid lemon per 1 million that surely must come out of the factory once a year. I read some hypermiler websites to find out how these guys were maxing out their mileage just so I could claw and drag myself back up to 40 mpg, but it was no use. Coasting, turning off the AC, occasionally jumping out of the car on the freeway and pushing it for a quarter mile here and there… all proved utterly useless. Then I remembered Barack’s words, and they echoed in my head like a character from a movie remembering some wise thing a now dead character had said somewhere in the second act (or maybe the first… John, help me here, you’re good on structure) “Luke… check your tires… ” And there it sat in my brain bouncing around for the next couple of months. I kept meaning to get to it, and then finally something happened to get my butt in gear… I drove over a sidewalk entering my hardware store parking lot and blew out my front tire. No other damage, just a flat. Nothing like one’s own idiocy and bad depth perception to spur one to action. So, I got a new tire and did what Barack said. I supplemented his advice by going online and typing in “Prius tire psi” just to get a sense if there was something better than what the manufacturer recommends. And there was. Instead of 36 in front and 32 in back as Toyota recommends, I found that 42 in front and 40 in back were the optimal pressure numbers for maxing your gas mileage.

Super long story now made mercifully short… Barack was right. I have now driven 100 miles on the new tires and am getting BETTER mileage than I did during my original glory days of early Prius ownership this year. 48 fucking miles to the gallon bitch! So, to Hannity, Limbaugh, McCain, OPEC, Olivia Newton John, Cardinal Mahoney, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, George Blanda, Milton Katselas, Phineas J. Whoopee, my whole family, and the Supreme Commander Of The Allied Forces… you can all kiss my black Prius bumper. I’m voting for the guy who helped put money directly in my pocket with just one little “he wasn’t even tryin’ and still hit it out of the park” suggestion. Thanks Barry. I owe you.

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