I PAID $2.06 A GALLON FOR GAS today, and it’s below two dollars some places.

This is because I bought a hybrid that gets great mileage, meaning that I could have laughed at high gas prices. And since it’s four-wheel drive, we probably won’t get a flake of snow this winter. If I had bought a gas-guzzler, prices would be over four bucks; if it had been rear-wheel drive we’d have blizzards. You’re welcome, America. Maybe I should start stockpiling Tamiflu to ensure that the avian flu scare never amounts to anything . . . .

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Good God man, don’t buy any umbrellas. The ensuing drought and leftwing environmentalist tirades against you would make the puppy-eating controversy pale in comparison. Or perhaps buy umbrellas and a convertable, those should cancel each other out.

Well, I did re-sod the front yard this year, which was followed by a fine, dry summer that necessitated vast amounts of lawn-sprinkling and the resultant sky-high water bills.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This is good news:

The amount of energy used in the economy per real dollar of GDP, “Energy Intensity”, has been steadily dropping and is now about half what it was in 1950. So a barrel’s worth of oil in 1950 now stretches to two barrels worth of work.

That’s by Sam Dinkin, who predicts that widespread conversion to hybrids will produce another doubling in the efficiency of the transportation sector, too. Let’s hope.