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Wednesday, March 29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 121

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Don't whine about gas, walk to UH instead

Marcus Cardenas

Monday, March 11, 2000

4:30 a.m.: Woke up.

4:40 a.m.: Got up.

5:00 a.m.: Walked to school.

Let me quote an earlier, cynical column of mine from January, way before the gas prices skyrocketed: " ... everything here will be fine as long as our gas prices our low..." Hey, if you can't brag about foresight, what can you brag about?

I thought of a lot of things like that during my walk. And I don't live close, folks. The closest intersection of major streets near my home is probably Shepherd and Pinemont. I'd say a good 10-12 miles away from UH. Getting back to the walk ...

5:06 a.m.: I came in contact with my first fellow Houstonian. I greeted her, as I would everyone whose path crossed mine today.

5:30 a.m.: I started getting bored, so I decided to sing some show tunes.

5:31 a.m.: After a moment's thought, I realized I didn't know any.

5:47 a.m.: I passed a Gabby's Barbecue on Shepherd as I approached Loop 610N. Even across eight lanes of road, I could smell the sauce and instantly became hungry.

6:00 a.m.: I reached the Loop and began my trek to Interstate 45.

6:20 a.m.: I passed a Mobil gas station where the unleaded gas was priced at $1.45.9 per gallon. It was the cheapest gas I would find.

6:35 a.m.: I decided to count 25 vehicles driving on the freeway (I remained on the feeder at all times). Only four of them were cars, meaning a sedan or coupe -- you know -- a car. The rest were gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles, bigger SUVs and 18-wheelers.

6:46 a.m.: I felt a drop of drizzle on my arm and immediately thought: umbrella. Oops.

7:05 a.m.: I arrived at I-45 and got my first glimpse of downtown. The sidewalk ended. Still thinking of Gabby's.

7:30 a.m.: The grass was fairly dewy with morning drizzle, a drizzle I figured would never materialize into rain, as I arrived at a Chevron on the corner of I-45 and Main. The unleaded gas here was priced at $1.57.9 per gallon, the most expensive gas I would find. 

7:56 a.m.: After taking Houston Avenue to Buffalo Bayou, I started pondering over why exactly I chose to do this. I guess it's because all anyone has ever done is complain about gas prices and point fingers to find the right group of people to blame. Let's say we did find that group. Then what? I figure that economics will always fix itself. I just chose to do something a little more productive than whining, and a little less, well, easy.

8:00 a.m.: I arrived in downtown. Remember the drizzle that wouldn't materialize into anything? It materialized.

8:25 a.m.: Nice and soaked, I hit Pierce Street and started to hit the home stretch toward UH.

8:27 a.m.: I passed the first doughnut shop as I fought the urge to stop. Boy, did I give that urge a good fight.

8:45 a.m.: Finally, UH. I actually felt good enough to walk back home. I walked to McDonald's instead.

Last Week's Poll Results

My prediction: Twinkies 3, gun 1.

Actual outcome: Gun 2, Twinkies 1, and 1 write-in for Easy Cheese.

Oh, one last thing

Bill Kelly, whoever you are, that recycling bin idea was mine from an earlier column this semester! Quit ripping off my ideas without giving me some credit, will'ya? Thanks.

Cardenas, a junior creative writing major, 
can be reached at geminimeg88@hotmail.com.

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