Gasoline companies, now you’re just mocking us.

Maybe at one time, when gasoline was cheaper than the average $4.06 $4.09 it is in Minnesota today (the ramifications of which were discussed on MPR’s Midmorning), tacking on that .9 cents to the price fooled drivers into thinking that the price is, say, $4.09 and not $4.10 a gallon. You toyed with us for generations. But now? Can’t you just eat the .9? Or just round the price up. We’re used to the price going up by 20, 30 cents at a time, do you really think that a .1 increase is going to bother us?

.1 cents. How much is that, really? Let’s figure it out.

* A gallon of gasoline weighs about 6.15 pounds. It actually weighs 6.149 pounds, but I’m living my words here.

* At 6.15 pounds that’s 1.5003659429129055867284703586241 pounds per $1, or .015003659429 pounds per penny or — and you saw this coming, didn’t you? — 0.0015003659429 pounds per tenth of a penny.

* Because so many of you dismissed the run-up in gasoline prices with sentences that started with, “You know, in Europe…. ” I bow to your desire to be Europe. So, we switch to grams. And there are 453.59 of them in a pound, or 2,789 grams per gallon. (Cool conversion calculator here)

* There are 4,090 tenths of a penny in the current price of gas. And that’s .68 grams of gas per tenth of a penny. For us ugly Americans, that’s .02 ounces. A little more than a thimble at today’s prices.

And how far can that take you?

Assuming 25 miles to the gallon — 132,000 feet — then 1/10th of a penny of gas will get you 32 feet. A year ago, it would get you 45…. point 9… feet.

For those of you who opt for bicycles, 32 feet is about 7 pedal rotations (Note: I’m 54 years old and that’s the first time I needed a calculation involving π). So for every 7 pedal rotations, you’re saving 1/10th of one cent.

In other gasoline news today…

  • A volunteer for the gasprices.com Web site has determined that the best time to fill up your car at the lowest price is Monday night, and that when it comes to raising prices, SuperAmerica does it first.
  • Some oil pundits are predicting $250 a barrel for oil.
  • The Senate GOP blocked additional taxes on oil companies.
  • Be sure to read Martin Moylan’s story on telecommuting. Some employers are getting less antsy about not seeing people in cubicles.
  • Time on your hands today? Play with MPR’s various gas calculators.

    Bang the oil drum slowly.