Santa Maria Sun / Humor
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 2
Collision courseKrider finally does something about his wife's aversion to pumping her own gas
By ROB KRIDER
I know what I’m about to write won’t be new information to most people. However, I have recently learned that not all of society is hip to the following fact: Most cars need this thing called gasoline to get from Point A to Point B. That is correct, it turns out filling your car with petroleum is not an optional thing. Gas is very much a requirement for any sort of mobility. And, even though this fact is essentially a non-debatable element of life (cars need gas to go), to this day my wife still isn’t totally convinced.
In her defense she does drive her car beyond “empty” on the gas gauge all the time and yet her car keeps running. My wife, I assume, thinks the car runs on magic rainbows and butterflies. Who can blame her? Her gas gauge has been lying to her for years. I blame the auto manufacturers. They were the geniuses that installed gas gauges that read E for empty but still have more gas in the tank. Gas gauges essentially have lied to my wife for so long it has taught her to ignore the gauge altogether. Empty doesn’t mean totally empty, a detail my wife likes to prove once a week by driving a little farther and farther each time. I think she is of the opinion the gas gauge is a like a clock, as the little hand keeps going farther past E, eventually it will just go all the way around back to F again. Then the tank will be full; just like magic. But it isn’t magic. It’s me, taking the car to the gas station late at night and ensuring my wife, whom I love, doesn’t run out of gas in the fast lane on the freeway at night. I don’t want anything to happen to her. Not just because I love her, but because we don’t have life insurance on her.
My wife has perfected the art of finding a reason for me to drive her car at the exact moment that it is completely out of gas.
“Honey, could you drive my car? I think there’s a noise you need to hear.”
“What is it?”
“I don’t know. You’re the car guy. You drive it.”
“When does it make the noise? Can you describe it?”
“OK, that isn’t helpful at all.”
“Just take it for a drive, and while you’re out, pick up some ice cream.”
“Ice cream? Where are your keys?”
As soon as I get behind the wheel I realize that I’ve been duped again. The car is totally out of gas. The needle is deep in the empty zone. When I drive the car I do hear a noise. It is the noise of the car running out of gas. The local AAA tow truck driver and I are on a first-name basis now.
To make things worse, the automobile industry installed a little piece of innovation for the dashboard called distance to empty (DTE). This terrible invention digitally tells my wife how many more miles she can go once the gauge says empty before she needs to ditch her car off to me for a run to the gas station. She has calculated exactly how many more trips to work she can take before she runs out of gas. What she failed to calculate is the 2-mile trip from the house to the gas station, when I have to drive the car with my fingers crossed hoping to make it. This is usually when the gas gauge is totally buried in E, the fuel light is on, and the DTE says 0 miles. While I’m slowly driving to the gas station with my foot on the pedal like a feather, I keep waiting for the car to change the letters DTE on the dashboard to GFL for Good Friggin’ Luck. I finally got to the point where I was done fixing this problem for my wife. I thought maybe if she ran out of gas and was stranded, she would learn an important lesson and not to do this sort of thing.
Personally, I don’t do this sort of thing. I drive a truck, and I keep it filled with gas at all times. I have to keep the tank topped off because the truck is a gas-sucking monster. A monster I try to drive as little as possible to save a few bucks. I actually only own the truck because of social norms and gender rules requiring pickup ownership for all real men. Do I actually need a truck? Well, if I didn’t own a truck then how could my brother-in-law borrow it?
My truck usually just sits in our driveway looking tough and manly. Most of the time when we go places as a family we will use my wife’s car. She drives a more reasonable means of transportation that gets rational gas mileage. Obviously, the mileage is so good my wife is convinced it doesn’t need gas ever. Her car isn’t flashy, or fast, or fun to drive, it’s a Hyundai. Hyundai is Korean for toaster oven.
Like a good Californian I try to carpool with some friends to work. I leave my big pickup truck in the driveway and head to my job, saving the environment and my bank account from the evils of my gas guzzling V-8-powered truck. My wife doesn’t carpool, but we have already established that her car doesn’t use fuel, just magic rainbows and butterflies.
Last week I got that phone call nobody wants to hear. My wife called me and said, “I’ve been in a car accident.” My first concern was the obvious, was she OK? I could only imagine what her little toaster oven car looked like in an accident. She said she was fine. My next thought was what happened? Then she told me, “I’m totally OK, but your truck is pretty damaged.”
“My truck? You weren’t driving your car?”
“No, I was late for work and my car didn’t have any gas in it, so I took your truck.”
Well, I guess I’m the one who learned a very important lesson.
Rob’s truck is at the body shop, and he is waiting for AAA to bring him some more gas. You can read more from Rob Krider or contact him at robkrider.com.
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