O. As in Oh no, I’m out of gas!
Have you ever run out of gas, or been with someone who did? It’s not usually a laughing matter.
Personally, I have a healthy(?) fear of running out of gas. Which is why I made sure my tank was full before leaving for a writers’ conference.
Because the last time I went to a conference, I forgot.
It was a Saturday affair, so I drove my husband’s car, which gets better gas mileage. I headed out with some trepidation—partly because my husband’s car is a manual transmission, but mostly because conferences always make me nervous. (It’s one of those introvert things.)
However, things went fine as I chugged through several small towns without a single gear-shifting mishap. Then, no sooner had I pulled onto the highway when the low gas warning alarm went off. Yikes! Why hadn’t I thought to check the gas gauge?
Naturally, I panicked. I was driving a diesel Jetta, and I had no idea where I might find a station that sold diesel fuel.
[In actuality, I had plenty of fuel to get to the conference and return home, but when an alarm goes off, we are supposed to become alarmed, right?]
I pulled off the highway at the next exit, but of course that station didn’t sell diesel. Neither did the next one. Or the one after that.
By the time I found a station offering diesel, my heart was pounding. I pulled up to the pump, hoping I’d made the correct guess about which side the gas tank was on. This was the first time I’d needed to fill up the car, so I wasn’t sure.
I had chosen correctly. Lucky me.
Except I couldn’t open the flap over the gas cap.
No problem. I remembered that our previous Jetta had a little button on the driver’s door that popped the flap.
No button. Anywhere.
And no amount of prying would coax the flap to open. In desperation, I called my husband, who was off for a pleasant day of fishing with a friend.
It turns out, I needed to push the flap in to make it release.
Success at last!
Except, after taking my card, the pump refused to work. This required a trip into the mini-mart to wait in line and report the problem. (There was only one diesel pump.) After puzzling over the mysterious error message, the attendant shrugged, reset the pump, and I was FINALLY able to fill up the tank.
I was late, emotionally drained and smelled mildly diesel fuel.
But as I continued on my way, I began chuckling.
What a RIDICULOUS story! It was right out of some B-rated comedy flick. Or, with the addition of a few British witticisms, it would make a good Monty Python sketch.
I couldn’t wait to get to the conference so I could tell someone about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience!
When was the last time you faced a situation that was so frustrating it became funny?
I hope you enjoy telling people about it.