Saturday, March 12, 2011
LEARN THE HARD WAY
I don’t drive too far away from home on a weekly basis, but my husband does. He commutes to a daily job and racks up the mileage - about 140 miles per day. The high cost of gasoline is really adding up for him. Me, not so much. But, I trick myself to make my bottom line seem less outrageous. When it goes down a little, about once a week… I’ve been topping my tank, so I don’t keel over from the shock of the final total. My husband, on the other hand, fills up every day or two. So, he’s really seeing the truth and feeling the pinch. Last weekend we were running errands and running low on fuel. We decided to get some gas. We pulled up to the pump and my husband did what he always does. He puts the gas handle in the tank, sets it to automatic, so it starts pumping, and then gets back in the van. I chided him, saying I never do that. He wondered why not. He tells me it’s much more convenient than standing out in the cold, with your hand pulling the lever. I told him I don’t trust it. What’s not to trust? He thinks I’m being silly, making things more difficult than they need to be. I disagree, so we end up talking about something else. My husband glances back at the pump to see if it’s almost done. Then we hear a sound we weren’t expecting. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! The automatic shutoff didn’t work. Gasoline was being pumped everywhere. My hubby jumped out of the van and immediately yanked the handle out of the gas tank. Only then did it trip off. But not before it had spilled three or four gallons of gas around the pump and our vehicle. As a result, my husband ruined a good pair of shoes. I tried not to step in it, myself, when I went inside the station to tell the attendant what had happened. I knew it was a potentially dangerous situation. But the folks in charge weren’t too concerned and said they’d send someone outside to deal with it, later. So we waited and prayed nobody threw a lit cigarette butt on the ground, in the meantime. What a day. My husband had debated the topic of the automatic shutoff with me at nauseam before this happened. Now he was chagrined. To add insult to injury, he had to PAY for the gasoline that spilled. I didn’t say a word.