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Going electric would be nice

July 28, 2012

By EMILY JONES

Some people will go to extreme measures to save money these days.  With gas prices inching back up, and being a bit on the cheap side anyway, I’m always game for money-saving ideas.

When my “check engine” light came on the other day, I high-tailed it over to my trusty mechanic. My little 2001 Rav4 has served me well, but she stalled like a dilapidated four-door Dotson. Like her owner, she’s suffering from “old timer’s” disease.

Anyway, Donnie discovered my O-2 sensor, whatever that is, had flipped out and I was looking at about $350 to replace it. I asked if it was absolutely necessary to the operation of an 11-year old vehicle, and he replied, “Not if you don’t mind what kind of gas mileage you’re getting.” 

Ah HA! Things were starting to make sense. That’s why I’m feeding that piece of sheet metal and glass about three meals a week. It couldn’t weigh 60 pounds soaking wet and it gobbles gas like those guys you see in hot dog eating contests. When I plug back the gas cap after a large meal, I swear she burps, embarrassing me to death at the gas pump. 

I read where South Carolinians are celebrating a new law to be enacted this fall allowing them to drive golf carts up to four miles from their homes. Do I really need a gas guzzling vehicle any longer when I could be driving a snazzy little electric number? 

I live only a block from the library, my church, the Piggy Wiggly, and my bank. As long as I have a few bucks in my pocket, a good book and plenty of chocolate, I’m a happy girl.

Adios, Wal-Mart! Nice knowing ya, but you’re officially out of my legal range. I won’t be shopping with you any longer unless you’re willing to pay my ticket. That reminds me of my freshman year at the “W” (aka Mississippi University for Women).  As freshmen, we weren’t allowed to leave a five mile radius of the campus, but I got in plenty of trouble without ever breaking that rule.

An electric golf cart seemed the perfect solution. It will take me up to 40 miles before having to recharge. No problem, except it will take me 10 days to get to Nashville to visit my son. I’ll have to make the trip in 40-mile increments, staying over night to recharge. Between Jackson, Tenn., and Nashville, I’ll need to pitch a tent because there’s nothing in between. Do they still have Greyhound buses?

I spent two days this week shampooing the carpet in my truck and spit shining all the thingies on the dash. I waxed her and I’m about ready to put her on the market. I researched golf carts and found a used one I can probably pay for with proceeds from the sale of my truck.

I was about ready to place my order when someone suggested I call the authorities and make sure golf carts are allowed on city streets in Mississippi. All but four states allow them on public roads, including Alaska and Texas where speeds of up to 45 mph are perfectly fine.

Aw, shucks. The police chief tells me they aren’t legal in Mississippi unless they qualify for a Mississippi license plate and golf carts fall short, unless they have all the bells and whistles of a car. That’s defeating my penny-pinching purpose.

And it will cost me $167.50 every time I get caught driving on a city street. I guess I’ll just pay for a new O-2 sensor and see if I can get another 100,000 miles out of my Toyota.

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