Lauren Rabaino

Lee Barats: Yes, I did the math.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t think driving a hybrid will make you appear pretentious and feminine. I totally do. In fact, my entire argument is based on that assumption. All I’m saying is that when you complete an in-depth cost analysis, you’ll make money – even when factoring in damages to your ego!

The first step is to ask yourself, “what amount of money do I put on my manly image?” I thought of an event as emasculating as driving a hybrid for a day: losing a fight to a girl in public. I asked myself, “Hey Lee, neglecting physical pain, how much money would you need to get beaten up by a girl in front of everyone?” My answer: $4. Therefore, my ego suffers $4 in damages every day I drive a hybrid vehicle.

Now that that’s established, let’s look at some actual hybrid cars. I decided when looking at new cars, the buyer will have to make a decision between the Toyota Camry and the Prius. A new Camry (24 mpg) will cost you about $18,000, compared to $20,000 for a new Prius (48 mpg). But wait a second: the government is offering tax incentives on hybrid vehicles of up to $2,000! So, the up-front cost difference is basically a wash. Now, assuming an average gas price over the life of your car of $4.50 (probably a bit low), and an average annual driving distance of 20,000 miles per year, the Prius will save you $1,875 a year!

Now, is that worth the loss in image? Dividing the yearly cost by 365, we get a daily savings of $5.14 by going hybrid. That covers the “image tax” with $1.14 left over. That’s not even including the money you’ll save on maintenance or the time you’ll save by driving in those special hybrid lanes! What will you do with your $1.14? Save the Earth? Thought so.

The choice is simple. Hybrids will save the environment and financially compensate you for your lost street cred. So when your friends make fun of your new Prius, toss a dollar in their face and say, “and I still got 14 cents left over, BITCH!”

Sean Michetti: No, show me some manly alternative energy.

If you ask a hundred students for their feelings on gas prices, you would hear more moaning than on the set of a porno movie. I have to admit, I’ve been moaning as loudly as any of you; gas prices are mocking us at an average of $4 per gallon.

But listen people, when the ship is sinking, you can’t just jump out. Grab a bucket and start scooping, for God’s sake. Just because you’re spending $80 every week on gas, doesn’t mean you scream mutiny and exchange your rugged 4×4 for a leafy Prius. If you give in now and purchase a hybrid Prius, you’re just handing an easy win to automobile engineers. They have any number of hip and powerful alternative energy sources at their fingertips and what do they settle on for a Prius engine? A silent battery – the Charlie Chaplin of cars.

We’ve used batteries our entire lives; they’re not new or exciting. I was under the impression that when we made a certain technology better, we did so by adding new features that astonish customers – technology that baffles even the most tech-savvy users. Batteries take a step backward; it’s like a band playing an entire second set after an encore. We only wanted one more song out of you, battery.

Maybe if another, non-sissy, alternative energy were used, I’d be more receptive to Prius hybrids. For example, if the car were powered by mysterious rocks found on Mars, or by Mentos and Diet Coke. Those two options use absolutely no gas and one is a YouTube phenomenon – the marketing is already in the bag!

I don’t understand how these Marvel movies, such as “Iron Man,” can depict their heroes traveling in heroic ways and the auto companies don’t catch on. It’s obvious that the future of travel is not a hybrid vehicle; it will be personalized rocket suits or rocket boards. This would also help reduce pollutants, because rocket suits do not require fuel, but are run purely on your built-up hatred toward those that killed a loved one or kept you locked in captivity. Plus, there is nothing sissy about a chain-gun wristband. Rocket suits will be as popular as the “Macarena,” and everyone will be wearing them.

Tell the battery its time has come and gone, the break up is over and we’ve moved on. Then invest in a rocket suit company, order a proto-type in your favorite color, and fly around the city, locking in on every Prius. Just wait and see how their battery engines handle a direct shot from a tomahawk missile.

Lee Barats is a mechanical engineering senior and Sean Michetti is a journalism senior. Barats and Michetti are Mustang Daily humor columnists and can be contacted at

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