Headline: "Corn fuel now at N.Y. pumps"

Headline: "Corn fuel now at N.Y. pumps"

OR: Cheap fun in the summertime

It's the holiday weekend and you just shelled out $75 for a fresh tank of gas and you're realizing you don't buy gas any more — you invest in it.

And you're thinking wouldn't it be nice if you could just park that tankful of super premium in the driveway and let it collect a little overnight interest. By Tuesday it could be worth $85, at least.

So you've resigned yourself to having no particular place to go this weekend, and that's fine. Maybe even patriotic. Even when you're investing at the pump, you're not exactly buying local.

So here are a few petroleum-free things to do this weekend that won't cost much more than a pint of regular and might make you feel good about yourself in the bargain:

Our pioneer ancestors, tired of trekking forever west and grousing about the high cost of salt pork, used to amuse themselves by putting a piece of grass lengthwise between their thumbs and blowing into their knuckles.

The resultant squeal kept boredom and coyotes at bay, at least for a while. Some wagon trains had entire knuckle-blowing orchestras.

Carbon usage: zero. Cost: zero

It's never too early to search out and destroy those pesky PI patches the family dog or cat loves to frolic in. Rather than use some expensive petroleum-derived weed killer, just get a spray bottle and fill it full of balsamic vinegar. Works fine against poison ivy and other living things. Bring a squeeze bottle of olive oil and make a "super-natural" salad that every raccoon and squirrel in the neighborhood will love you for.

Carbon usage: zero. Cost: $1.49, on sale this weekend.

Just kidding. Exxon's first-quarter profits for this year rose to $9.28 billion from $8.4 billion in the comparable period a year earlier. No matter how long you invest in your car's gasoline, you'll never come close to matching Exxon's glowing example of supply-and-demand economic theory: They have all the supply and you and I have all the demand.

This weekend, when demand is always especially high and Exxon is always willing to increase prices accordingly, take a moment to reflect on how much sweeter life would be if that supply-demand ratio was reversed.

Reporter Jeremiah Horrigan, who is composed of 18 percent carbon, can be reached at jhorrigan@th-record.com