August 12, 2005

A Tale of Today

After a bright, cloudless marching practice in the Sterling parking lot, everyone was ready to get home. I had already stalled my passengers (Savannah, Jessica, and Dylan), about ten minutes while I was at our field officer meeting, but the next stall would take the cake.

As I turned onto North Main Street from tiny Craig Street, my Ford Explorer became much more quiet and much harder to steer. Surely there was more gas in the tank than that! Obviously not. I managed to coast onto the ramp of a driveway almost directly accross from Craig Street. A little more than a quarter of the back of the car was hanging out into traffic, the rest was up on the mouth of this driveway. The residents of this house were absent and remained absent throughout the ordeal.

My friend Courtney pulled up beside us to see if she could lend some help. I told her it ran out of gas, she asked if I had a cell phone, and I did, so she drove off. I used the phone in question to contact the nearest parental figure of mine, my mom. She said to just walk down to a gas station and see if I could buy a container of gas to bring back to the car, so Dylan and I set off.

The nearest gas station was probably less than a quarter mile down the street, but instead of going to that one, we went the other way to a station that was a little more than a quarter mile down the street. The reasoning behind this is unknown even to us. As we waited for the cashier to finish helping a customer, I called Savannah's cell phone to make sure everything was still okay, and it was. The customer left as I hung up the phone and I told the cashier that I had run out of gas and asked if I could buy a tank. He said they were out and suggested that I buy a gallon of water. We headed to the back and found the water, there were no visible prices so we had to guess which one was the cheapest (I picked the brand I'd never heard of). Then we started looking for a bottle that we could fashion into a funnel. We foolishly gave that up (partly because we had nothing to cut a plastic bottle with, partly because I felt like I was in some sort of hurry, which was actually the opposite of the case) and decided to just buy the jug so we could empty it and fill it with gas.

As I walked back to the counter I noticed a few familiar-looking red containers on the bottom shelf of the very isle that we had walked down to get to the water jug. Our situation had just become 100% more ideal. Obviously the cashier was mistaken about being out of gas tanks, we were very fortunate to have spotted them. We put back the water and got a gas tank, two whole gallons. The tag on the tank said "5.99". "Okay", I thought, "how much is gas?". I looked out at the sign to see that regular unleaded costed $2.32 (this turned out to be a low price by comparisson). In my pocket I had a whopping eleven dollars, just enough to make our survival operation work.

I tried to calculate how much two gallons would cost ($4.64), but my brain was in a minor state of panic and Dylan added "don't forget about tax" (which was wrong), and at the time I didn't think I had as much money as I actually did after I bought the tank (like I said, state of panic, plus I just can't do math in my head anyway) SO: I filled the tank with $4.01 of gas.

So after we went back in and paid for the gas, we set off for the uneccesarry quarter mile trip back to the car. Alas, suddenly our situation became about 200% more ideal, as our friend Katy drove by and offered to drive us back to the Explorer. The drive back was a pretty fun little snipet of jamming to some Beatie Boys.

Fun little tid-bit for everyone's future knowledge: pouring a two gallon tank of gas into your car takes a LOT longer than you might expect.

So now with the tank being about 1.8 gallons more full, we were ready to take our chances out on the road back to Highlands, 6 or 7 miles at the most. I had to drop off Jessica and Dylan on the way. Dropping Dylan off was fun, I coasted by his driveway and he jumped out the door with his stuff so I didn't have to stop and burn more precious gas fumes.

Long story short, Savannah and I got home, I got summore money, drove back into town to Gerlands (Food Town), and filled up the rest of the tank. The end...(?)


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