This whole gas price thing has gotten a little out of hand. Its one thing when the automobile companies are giving away free gas with the purchase of a car, but this latest marketing ploy by Jack In The Box is a real head-scratcher.

According to an article in MediaPost’s “Marketing Daily,” Jack In The Box is offering two free tacos this Thursday, June 26, to anyone who brings in a gas receipt.

Now, a few things come to mind when I see this, not the least of which is, “When the hell did Jack In The Box start selling tacos?” But the other thing I have to wonder is, “What is Jack In The Box getting out of such an offer? Sure, there is the short-term benefit of gaining additional customers on one particular day of the summer, but the real issue I have with this kind of offer is that it does nothing to try to curb our appetite for fossil fuels at a time when its plainly obvious that we need to be cutting back. Jack In The Box might argue that those customers are going to buy gas anyway, so why not take advantage of their pain at the pump and sell a few more burgers, or tacos, or whatever the hell it is they sell. (Corn in its many abominable forms?) Their marketing message is as clear as can be:

“Its getting more expensive to fill your gas tank. So Jack In The Box is giving you a little help with filling your stomach.”

Its obvious that the tacos are a loss leader—a way to get you in the door by offering something at or way below cost so that you will buy more stuff while you’re there (do you really think those two measly tacos are going to fill your stomach?)—so why not put that loss leader to good use and encourage your customers to do something to conserve gas, like, “We’ll give you two free tacos if you ride your bike through the drive-through”?

So instead of hanging on to that gas receipt so you can go idle at the Jack In The Box drive-through window, wasting even more gas, how ’bout we all band together and simply boycott Jack In The Box for the day? Or better yet, boycott driving.