If gas prices aren't enough to stun customers at the pump, perhaps the story of a desperate Florida man will.
David Partin traded the name of his unborn son to a radio station for a $100 gas card, The Associated Press reported. Partin really should have considered how little Dixon and Willoughby Partin ("and" included) will feel about this when he grows into an angry teenager.
The incident is an unsettling example of one man's bad decision, but it sheds light on more than poor parenting - it illustrates how far some people will go to cope with the ever-rising cost of fuel. While the price of oil dropped about $16 last week, the AP reported experts say it's too early to get comfortable.
The cost of fuel has affected everything from airline companies to the elderly (The New York Times reported food-delivery services such as Meals on Wheels are having to cut back on programs), and as a commuter school we're definitely feeling the pain.
However, this polluting cloud may just have a silver lining. Coupled with the increasing price is an increase in awareness. Record prices and our reactions to them make us realize how dependent we are on oil and gas.
Instead of focusing on the causes and effects of the spinning meter, we should focus on how to kick our bad habit. Controlling the price of oil is out of the general public's hands, but managing the cost comes down to personal responsibility.
Houston may have a sorry excuse for public transportation, but it really is hard to beat a 50-cent student bus fare. And perhaps if Houstonians dropped the belief one needs a car to survive in the city, public transportation would become more effective.
The price of gas may be something to complain about, but with a few lifestyle adjustments, the effect it has on our daily lives will be much less noticeable. Metro has bus routes that go directly to campus. The Light Rail carries passengers throughout downtown. Another option is carpooling. It may be difficult to find a friend with an identical schedule, but sticking around on campus for an extra hour or two can mean more time to tackle homework or studying in a quiet environment.
These ideas certainly aren't revolutionary, but learning to handle high prices is better than complaining, and it could save an innocent child from a lifetime of embarrassment.
Our transportation options may not be as comprehensive as other metropolitan areas, but we need to learn to work with what we have.