July 2, 2013

Tree-Hugging Hippy

Last week was a banner week all around. Wendy Davis took a stand in Texas, the Supreme Court declared DOMA to be DUMBA, and I turned 43. To celebrate my birthday, we went out to one of our many few steakhouses in town, where The Daughters decided to split a meal and then argued over who got more chicken. Happy birthday to me. As we left, Brian noticed a CNG crew cab truck in the parking lot and--good news--the driver was still in the truck.

A CNG vehicle is a Compressed Natural Gas vehicle. A couple of years ago, we bought Brian one because he was driving a long way to and from work each day. These vehicles don't get better gas mileage, but the fuel does cost significantly less. The last time I filled up my vehicle, I paid over $3 a gallon. The last time Brian filled up his truck, he paid less than a dollar per gallon equivalent. If you drive a Ford F150, you might not want to read this statement: Brian fills his truck up for less than $13. Cost-gasm aside, these vehicles burn cleaner and need less upkeep because they do burn cleaner. Really, it's win-win for everyone who owns one and for the world.

Because of these reasons, Brian and I are in constant talks about our next vehicle (which will be a while from now). Do we want to buy a dedicated vehicle--one that solely uses CNG? Do we want to buy a traditional vehicle and convert it to CNG so it will be bi-fuel--one that uses gasoline and CNG? Do we want to buy the vehicle already converted to bi-fuel, bypassing the need find a mechanic who can actually do the conversion? We talk about this a lot. A lot.


But, we don't just talk about it between ourselves. We are acutely aware of the CNG symbol that is required on all CNG vehicles, and we talk to those people too.

So, when we were leaving the parking lot of the steak house on Friday night and spotted the CNG crew cab truck (which would fit our entire family), Brian pulled up beside the truck with the driver still inside, rolled down my window (because my side was closest to the CNG crew cab truck) and started a conversation.

"Are you bi-fuel or dedicated?" Brian asked the young 'un, probably a construction worker or a ranch hand.

"What?" the guy answered, his voice a lot higher than I imagined.

"Bi-fuel or dedicated?" Brian asked.

"Dude!" the guy answered, his voice dropping a couple of octaves and his lip snarled. "I'm dedicated."

Initially, I thought this guy was really defensive about his fueling choice. Then the conversation continued.

Brian asked all of our standard questions, "Converted?"

The guy snarled his lip and dropped his voice even more. "Hell no, I'm not converted," his defensiveness practically dripping from his CNG truck

Brian, still clueless, said, "Where'd you buy your truck?"

"My truck?" the guy asked, clearly still thinking that all this talk about bi and dedicated and conversion was all about him and obviously worried about the effects of DOMA's demise in our red state. "What about my truck?"

It was at this point that I started laughing, and Brian was sorta, kinda getting the picture. "I'm talking about your CNG truck. Is it bi-fuel or dedicated, and did you have it converted or buy it that way?"

"Ohhhh ...," the guy sighed letting himself smile only a little bit. "I don't know. It's a work truck. I've never even filled it up."

And that's how Brian almost got me us a date for my birthday.


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