The thinly-veneered "lifestyle" journalism that masquerades as news these days has yielded another gem, courtesy the New York Times (At $100 for Tank of Gas, Some Choke on ‘Fill It’") The purpose of this slipshod amalgam of random quotes is unclear. Are we supposed to feel sorry for these dipshits or simply marvel at the fact that some people buy GMC Suburbans without realizing that they will have to put a lot of gas in them? To wit:

Bryan Carisone, a heating and air-conditioning contractor in Raritan, N.J., “absolutely loves” his new GMC Denali XL, an extra-large sport utility vehicle with televisions built into the leather seats. But in June, one week after he bought it, he pulled into a station on a near-empty tank and watched the total climb higher and higher — to $109. “It just about killed me,” Mr. Carisone said.

Apparently the size of the GMC Denali XL's fuel tank and the EPA mileage estimates are both classified information, as obtainable to Mr. Bryan Carisone as the launch codes for Soviet ICBMs. It is unfortunate that he was forced to buy this grotesque land yacht without that information.

It gets better.

For people who love their big vehicles, the pain is acute.

But the Avalanche also has a 31-gallon tank, which would cost $127 to fill at Saturday’s national average price. Even the truck’s most dedicated fans find that galling. David H. Obelcz, who founded the club in 2002 and is still a member of the board, sold his Avalanche because he could not afford gasoline for it.

At what point in one's journalistic career do the trials of being a brainless yuppie qualify as "pain" let alone "acute pain?" Hold on while I cry my fucking eyes out for the Fan Club devoted to the Chevy Avalanche, a vehicle whose turn signals are labeled "port" and "starboard." I hope Mr. Obelcz had the version with the 8.1L V8, which is by far the largest gasoline V8 in a passenger vehicle.

Families that were accustomed to the convenience of sport utility vehicles are having to cut back as well. Colleen Hammond of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, loves packing her three kids and all their soccer gear into her 2000 GMC Yukon XL. But she hates paying $160 to fill the 38.5-gallon tank. Last month, she parked the Yukon in her driveway and borrowed her friend’s Toyota Land Cruiser.

Again with the dramatic language. People who have to decide between food and medicine "cut back." People pissing and moaning about how much their SUV costs to own do not. And for the last time, no one owns an SUV because of "safety" or "convenience." Minivans are far safer, hold more people and cargo, and are more fuel-efficient. People buy SUVs because they think it looks cooler than driving a minivan. Period.

Steve Burtch bought a Dodge Ram truck last year, when gas cost $3.75, because he thought gas prices had peaked and would start coming down.

Steve Burtch, I have taken shits smarter than you.

“It’s a huge inconvenience,” said Dr. Walter Bahr, a chiropractor in Cape Coral, Fla., who drives a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup and pays $130 per tank.

WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL DOES A CHIRPRACTOR NEED A 3/4-TON PICKUP FOR? This is not a rhetorical question. I will give anyone who can answer it one million dollars. Ram 2500 pickups are made for construction work and building contractors – they're work trucks with 10,000-pound towing capacity. Apparently Dr. Bahr needs it to haul his tiny penis around rugged Cape Coral, Florida.

And here's the best part:

By late spring, owners of pickups and sport utility vehicles with 30-gallon tanks, like the Cadillac Escalade ESV and Chevrolet Suburban, started paying $100 or more to fill a near-empty tank. As gas prices continue to rise — the national average stood at about $4.10 a gallon Saturday — membership in the triple-digit club is growing. Now, even not-so-gargantuan Toyota Land Cruisers and GMC Yukons can cost $100 to fill up.

Way to pander to the yuppie readers, New York Times, by noting that high gas prices are also affecting the (implicitly "normal") vehicles that a quarter of your Sunday demographic drive.

The Toyota Land Cruiser is over sixteen feet long and six feet wide. It weighs 5,690 pounds empty. It has a 5.7L 381-hp V8 (larger and more powerful than a Gen-IV Corvette from 1996). It gets 13 mpg in traffic.

The GMC Yukon has a 26-gallon fuel tank at 14 mpg city. It too has a large V8 (5.3L) and weighs over 5,300 pounds.

According to the Times, these are reasonable "not-so-gargantuan" vehicles which should not be expected to require $100 fill-ups. It is unconscionable to think that these entirely justifiable, average vehicles should be so burdening the wallets of the Normal Americans who drive them.

From now on I intend to season all of my food with the sweet, sweet tears of SUV owners.


  • Well the other hidden galling idea, is that most of these people are purchasing these heavy vehicles as business owner, and writing off $25K on their taxes (then probably rubbing that little savings into the noses of their friends – this is probably the reason that the chiropractor owns his). But now they have the nerve to complain about filling the effin' things.

    Do keep in mind that they also have the double standard of getting the tax break because of their Gross Vehicle Weights, but don't think those weights apply when they are not allowed to drive on streets.

    I'm "this close" to paying $100 to fill my tank Passat's 16g tank with biodiesel, but loving every 'chi-ching'. I love the fact that I've got a nice little kick in the pants to make me ride the bus more and to bike my fat ass into work and drive a lot less.

    Now lets see, $100/tank – 1 tank per week. Nope, prices need to go higher. I want to see them blow their $25K write off on gas in one year, not 5. And if ink were only $100/oz, then stupid articles like this probably wouldn't make it into the paper.

  • Jesus, these people are stupid. (And over-privileged, entitled fuckwits, but basically stupid.) I'd assume the chiropracter in Florida "needs" a big truck in order to tow his boat(s). Whether it has to be that big, though, I don't know.

  • Bwahahahaha! I love it. My 1991 Honda Civic gets nearly 30 miles to the gallon, and even when I do need to fill up the tank, it only costs about $40. And I hardly drive at all, so I only need to fill up about once a month!

    Walking to work ftw.

  • upchuckie_cheezits says:

    All of these monsters cost a lot more to buy.

    The cost to insure them is significantly more per year.

    Assuming an average consumption of 1000 gallons of gas per year, each $1.00 increase in cost per gallon is a $1000.00 increase in fuel costs per year.

    So a car that cost $75,000 and insures at $5,000 per year is suddenly impossible to afford because it costs $1000.00 more a year to operate.

    Basic math skills sure have suffered. What is significant about the gas price increase is the percent increase it causes in total annual operating costs.

    If you can afford to buy one of these behemoths for personal use you can afford to buy the gas, so stop whining.

  • You can usually tell when the nytimes lifestyle people are either in awe of the people they are covering, or mocking them. I think this falls under mocking. Though I'm kind of in awe of this person:

    Steve Burtch bought a Dodge Ram truck last year, when gas cost $3.75, because he thought gas prices had peaked and would start coming down.

    That makes no sense whatsoever.

  • This sort of ignorance and vanity on the behalf of these pathetic, sorry saps will be in textbooks decades from now, when our infrastructure and transportation system finally adapts.

  • rick reuben says:

    There is another way to reduce your energy costs, besides downsizing your vehicle or parking it: use a currency that oil exporters want in return for their oil.

    Unfortunately, that option is not available to American consumers.

    You are not only being penalized for driving tanks to your cubicle jobs, you are being penalized for trusting a monetary system that relies on threats, war, and coercion to force participants to trade tangible assets for IOU's.

    The world is awash in oil. The world is also awash in a glut of Federal Reserve Notes masquerading as 'money'. The 'gasoline crisis' is a fiction. It's a money crisis. Good ol' 87 octane is still everywhere, all you need, for anyone with the money to pay for it. The problem is: too many people are trying to pay for it with something that isn't real money. There's your market distortion. It's based on an evaporation of trust, not oil.

    But don't worry. Once the Fed finishes buying every bad mortgage with your 'money', things should settle down… :)

  • Rick Reuben is on to something – there's much more to the issue than a bunch of suburbanites mewling about the high cost of filling up their SUVs, and the sanctamonious urbanites who would love nothing better than to coerce others away from driving them.

    I don't have to explain why I have a pickup, nor do I care what others think about it, with some sort of pre-conceived notion of "what I need."

    The bottom line is I take the bus everyday to work and on some days, I am able to telecommute (e.g., when the kids are at home). I fill up (i.e., top-off) no more than twice per month. My carbon-footprint is arguably less than many who drive many miles, every day, with their Prius.

    I suspect that because I am able to afford $50.00/month of diesel, I wouldn't necessarily be aligned with those who complain about $100.00 (or more) per week. They have made their beds. I am happy with how I economize and conserve – and I intend to keep my truck (at least until it's paid off).

  • It weighs 5,690 pounds empty.

    I thought for sure you'd mistaken gross weight for curb weight, but no, you didn't. A freakin landcruiser weighs half a ton more than both of my cars, a Yaris and a Miata, PUT TOGETHER!

  • Yeah. The curb weight on an H2 Hummer is 6500 pounds. The H1 (discontinued) was 7800. That's about four tons.

  • Because they couldn't have interviewed, like, anyone whose already-strict budget is being totally disrupted? Like, I don't know… an actual poor person?

    Heaven knows there aren't many of them in the country. I suppose searching them out would've been a waste of time.

  • I'd like to say I feel sad for all those people, who probably do genuinely feel rather cheated, from being able to continue to piss money & resources up the wall.
    But i can't.

    Stage 2 is having the value of the vehicle plummet, so trading in for something normal hurts like hell too.

  • i just got up and paced-out 16 feet by 6 feet. or at least, i tried to. can't do it in any room in my house. or in my front yard. lordy, that's a lot of car.

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