Saturday, June 13, 2009

Epic Fail

Last night was the Stanley Cup final. I missed the end of the game. This is because I am sometimes not very smart. Let me preface this story by pointing out that my parents have always INSISTED I keep my car's gas tank at a quarter tank at the LOWEST. As I grew up into a frugal, conscious adult, I realized safety was not the only reason for this, but also fuel efficiency. Corey does not share this idea and frequently plays Cosmo Kramer, driving the car until it rolls to a stop at the gas station. Somewhere along the line, I just sort of fell into step next to him. Now, we both drive the car until there isn't another inch it can drive, trying to force the other into being the one to pump the gas. I don't even know if this is a war we're aware of or just laziness. He's from New Jersey, after all.

So anyway, last night I knew the car was very low on gas when I left for Greenfield to watch the game. But I didn't leave early enough to get gas on the way there and figured I'd have plenty to just stop on the way home. I drove, circled for parking, and found the last remaining space--facing up a very, very, very, very steep hill.

Halfway through the second period, I got tired and wanted to leave. I had my teammate with me as she needed a ride to Oakland. The car would not start. The engine wouldn't even turn over, as whatever whisper of gas remained had rolled to the back of the tank on the hill. Great. Teammate 1 started to walk to the gas station as I protested, but she and I both knew I could not waddle there and carry gas back on my own. I barely even fit behind the steering wheel to start with.

Luckily another teammate emerged from the bar and gave us a lift. Which is good because the gas station had no gas cans to transport the gas. We had to sort of drive all over the place looking until we found one sitting by a trash can at the BP on Forward. I assumed it was there because a Good Samaritan wanted me to have it. We filled it with gas, vowed to return it in a few minutes, and headed back to my car.

Yeah, turns out the gas can was sitting by the trash can because it was broken. My two teammates insisted I not touch the fumey gas and worked out a MacGuyver-type solution, rigging water bottles and funnels and using pocket knives and other tools and tubes to get the gas from the broken can into my car. I stood at the ready with Purell and napkins. Teammate 2 headed back into the bar, because the third period had begun at this point, and Teammate 1 and I planned to head for the hills--or rather flat land.

The car started just fine, but the clutch wouldn't catch. I have been driving a stick shift for 12 years and can assure you I know how to pull out on a hill. I wasn't doing it wrong, the thing was just broken or out of gas or somehow malfunctioning. The car just sort of rolled down the hill...into Teammate 2's car. I started crying, Teammate 1 started laughing, and she took off down the road to get Teammate 2 back on the scene. I called Corey because I wanted someone to be angry with, and he seemed like a logical choice. He just said, "Hey, you knew it was low on gas when you left the house. Is our car ok?"

Luckily, nothing was wrong with either car. I had slammed on the break and grabbed the e-brake just in time--we had barely bumped bumpers. By this point, Detroit had scored and there were just a few moments left in the game. I was still wearing my dad's old #4 jersey, shaking, crying, and feeling like a total loser. Not to mention dreading going back to practice this fall, where I will certailny receive months of well-deserved haranguing.

Teammate 2 moved her car to a safe parking spot and I revved the enginve a bunch of times before attempting another pull-out. As the final seconds ticked away in the hockey game, I rolled into my neighborhood and got to watch Sid hoist the cup over his head while I sat on the floor and ate ice cream and cried.

Corey and I made a new rule in case I go into labor soon: all cars must have at least one quarter tank of gas. Always. No matter who is driving or how confident he or she is that there's one more trip in the tank.


Laura V said...

oh, gosh! glad teammates were around to help out, though.

My mom was telling me that my dad used to drive until his car was almost out of gas, then take hers, leaving her with a bunch of small children and almost no gas. So she'd pack us up into the car and hope there was enough gas to make it the mile to the gas station (there wasn't, always). And when she was pregnant (often), the smell of gas made her throw up and she'd be sick for a day afterwards.

Next week, when her car was out of gas, he'd take his back.....

eventually she started storing gas cans in the garage.

Valtastic said...

My coworker's wife if 5 weeks away and they jsut started the 1/4 tank rule...

the cupcakes were amazing.. i'm going to have to learn how to make green tea ones.. thanks for sending! :) I'll call you this week

Em said...

I picked these just for you.