Gas prices have exploded all around the country. But there’s an upside.
With my stand-up career on extended, extended hiatus, I haven’t been to a comedy club in quite a while. But I can only imagine that, at least once per show, someone’s doing “What’s the deal with gas prices?” stuff.
So I’m not going to do that here. Sure, like everyone else, gas prices frustrate me too. But I’m an optimist. So this list is going to focus on the bright side: The 11 GOOD things about these astronomical gas prices.
1 | Fewer dead people
I don’t like dead people. So I liked this study, which shows that for every 10% increase in gas prices, there’s a 2.3% decrease in auto-related fatalities. With the gas price increases over the past few years, the number of auto deaths could go down as much as 33%. That translates to tens of thousands of deaths.So just remember that: When the gas prices inevitably hit $5, the number of people who are going to die in car accidents just went down another 2.3%.And, on that note, think about this: If zombies ever rise up, that’s 2.3% fewer zombies to go after your sweet, juicy brains.
2 | Fewer stupid assholes on the road
Living in Los Angeles makes you learn the phrase “stupid assholes” quickly, because it is truly the only perfect description of your fellow drivers. But, as gas prices go up, people are driving less. And while that takes a few great drivers (like myself) off the road, it also vastly decreases the stupid asshole quotient.
3 | Better for the environment
I watched that movie Who Killed the Electric Car. Scared the hell out of me. Seriously, it was even scarier than The Hills Have Eyes 2 or Leprechaun in the Hood.
4 | Hope for the Segway
I’ve always liked the Segway. Sure, they’re completely impractical and insanely overpriced… but how cool would it be if it didn’t make you absurd to ride one down the street? They really are a fantastic means of transportation. And now, with fewer cars and people constantly looking for better ways to get from point A to point B, I say: Why NOT the Segway?!?
5 | Fewer SUV drivers
SUV drivers are a big, big subset of stupid assholes. In fact, the Venn diagram is almost a perfect overlap. And now, finally, people are jettisoning their SUVs. I guess being in an unnecessarily giant vehicle in an attempt to intimidate and lord over your fellow man isn’t worth $5,200 a year in gas.
6 | Better for health
I see it. People are biking. People are walking. And it’s not just because I live under a mile from the Pacific Ocean in the beach cruiser capital of the world. Non-hippies and -hipsters are doing it too. We’re getting healthy, America, whether we like it or not.
7 | Better rewards for airport pickups
For years, it’s always been the same deal: Take someone to or pick someone up from the airport and they’ll usually buy you a modestly-priced meal. Unless they forget. Well… now, all of a sudden, an airport pickup is no joke. So I fully expect the rewards for airport pickups to increase dramatically. Two meals. Two meals and a massage. Three massages. Who knows!It’s like how, when you’re a kid, the tooth fairy ends up developing deeper pockets as you get older, realize that a quarter isn’t really worth much and you start negotiating to get her to pay out more. An airport ride at $4.65-a-gallon gas is the equivalent of losing a tooth at age 10. You gotta get paid.
8 | Increases in friendship and dating criteria
Let’s say one of my friends meets a girl and it turns out she lives in Irvine. That’s 40 miles away, which translates to about $9 each way. He’s going to make sure she’s worth that kind of driving effort. And if she’s not, he’s not going to waste his time on cultivating the relationship, thus saving both parties time, effort, emotional expenditures and the cost of an STD test. When gas is expensive, you’ve got to think: Do I really want to drive 30 miles to see this friend in Los Feliz? Is he really that good of a friend? Do I date someone in the 818 area code? Maybe grandma could drive down from Valencia to see me. I expect gas prices to a lot of people tightening their social circles… and in these Facebook times where it’s all about massive friend collection, that’s a necessary thing.
9 | More money for Dubai
And I can’t wait to see what they’re going to use their astronomical oil cash flow to build next. The world’s largest statue of Jean Claude Van Damme? Diamond-covered Nikes for every tourist? The world’s first platinum-covered Museum of Platinum? Bring it on, Dubai. We’re all waiting.
10 | Less money for Americans
We were on a real collision course with being like the ancient Roman empire — gluttonous, indulgent, masturbatory, and completely reckless. This should really help slow things down. Fewer prostitutes, fewer giant steaks, fewer prostitutes eating giant steaks with you… I’m fired up.
11 | No one stealing Jeeps