What if we told you we knew of a place where you could save about $1.46 a gallon on gas — today?

What if we told you, while you were in the neighborhood getting your cheap gas you could also dine on meals that have the foodie nation buzzing, get a huge discount on your prescription drugs, and take a picture with a zonkey (that's a zebra crossed with a donkey, but not really)?

You'd say we sound like a cheesy salesman using the “what if we told you” ruse? Yes, but other than that you'd be all about this.

Well, not so fast.

You see, this non-mythical land of gas and gastronomy is 135 miles away, at least. So you'd have to dedicate a day to it. And the savings would do you no good unless you really wanted to go there anyway.

But you do:

Tijuana scenery.; Credit: starlen

Tijuana scenery.; Credit: starlen

A round trip drive to Tijuana with a car that gets 20 miles per gallon, with an average L.A. gas price of $4.35, will cost you nearly $59 in fuel.

But if you fill her up in TJ (yes, despite what the New Yorker says, even locals have been calling it TJ — for decades) you can see a savings of $20 on that 13 or so gallons it would take for your outing.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the savings between SoCal gas prices and Tijuana gas prices, given the peso exchange rate, is about $1.46 a gallon.

And, yes, people in Southern California are already taking advantage of the discount.

Heck, $20 dollars in Tijuana can buy you like a couple buckets of beer, a huge bag of crap weed (don't try bringing it across the border, though), or a nice dinner for two.

Of course, Mexican gas is not as complicated as California's clean-burning blends (and that's part of the reason why it's cheaper), and finding Mexican gas with high enough octane for this reporter's car would be a feat.

And then there's this: They kill people in Mexico. A lot of them, it seems. But mostly they're people in the business. Yeah, that business.

But that's none of your business, so you're probably safe.

And some locals now claim that things are much better in Tijuana — so much so that the rich folks are starting to move back there from their second and third homes in San Diego.

Given all that, it's still a little bit of a gamble — like betting on the greyhounds at Caliente.

But $20 certainly gives you a few more chips to play with.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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