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What's the new what? I say, gasoline is the new curfew.
At 24 years old, I'm glad to say I don't have anyone setting a curfew for me. That someone has been replaced by a certain something. To be more specific…it's my gas tank.
Since gas prices shot past four dollars a gallon, my tank is the restricting factor whenever I want to kick it, and bust out of the house.
Music: Bustin' Out …
Over a month ago, on one of those all too rare nights when I did bust out. I met a young lady…
TAPE 37:00 Briana: I came out of the club and you complimented my friend on her shoes
And things just kinda went from there. That's Briana Nuez, she lives 30 miles away from me in Pittsburg, CA, and with gas prices as high as they are, that might as well be a different state…
ANYI: How many times have we kicked it?
BRIANA: You and I? Once.
ANYI: How much do we talk about kicking it?
BRIANA: Like Everyday.
ANYI: Whats stopping us from kicking it?
BRIANA: That would be transportation.
Because gas costs so much, a lot of young folks across the nation feel like their fuel tanks are playing the role of "fun police" in their relationships. Let's take Portland, Maine…
TAPE Kristina: 23:44 If I was going on a date, I'd be really traditional and have that person pick me up.
That's Kristina Loring's strategy for saving gas money - going the traditionalist route…how convenient.
TAPE Kristina: But I wouldn't hesitate to ride a bike downtown and go on a date.
Except that Kristina says riding a bike makes it difficult for her to wear a dress, or look as cute as she would if she were driving a car. And it's not just dates that gas prices have dampened. Miriam Archibong from Atlanta says people in her city used to be really into 'cruising,'
Miriam Archibong: Cruising is just driving around where you just drive and you have your music up loud and you let people look at your car.
But now Atlanta youngsters are being forces to pump their brakes and applied some "cruise control".
It's not a necessity so people don't prioritize cruising anymore. We prioritize putting food on our table, we prioritize handling the basics and cruising is not a basic need.
Back in California, a young lady called me up and pretended to prioritize hanging out with me. She called to ask if I could pick her up. I, in turn, asked her what she was willing to contribute to my gas tank to make that feasible. The conversation went downhill from there. Minutes later she sent me a text message calling me a name I can't repeat on the radio, let's say jerk.
But this only bothered me for a micro-second because I reasoned to myself, "I'm the jerk with five eighths of a gas tank left for tomorrow!"
©2008 Youth Radio, Oakland, California, USA