Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fuel Gauge Chicken

Knowing that I had morning bus duty today and that there was every chance I was going to be late, I decided to plan ahead.  I did everything that needs doing for the morning well before bed last night.  I laid out the clothes and made sure that they were the sort of garments that wouldn't inspire me to change 45 times before I left.  I double checked the coffee pot so I wouldn't forget to set it to go off at 5:00.  Then I checked it again.  I organized the breakfast foods and rinsed out the thermos.  I had it all ready to go.

As a final touch, I set my bedroom clock ahead by another ten minutes, for a grand total of fifteen.  There was no possible mishap for which I did not have a plan.  

It all went like clockwork.  Until I drove past The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey And Sweetie And You Sort Of Like That.  The plan got a little bit shaky right about then.  I hadn't foreseen what I'd find there.

Gas.  At a $1.99 a gallon.  Gadzooks!!!

But I had no time to stop for gas.  I'd allowed enough time to stop at the mailbox so I could pay the nice people who called me yesterday with the suggestion that I send them some money.  They were of the opinion that my having forgotten to pay their bill was not really particularly funny.  I'd planned to stop for gas on the way home, knowing that I had enough in the tank to make the first leg of the round trip.

There was no time for $1.99 gas.  

I am not normally one to quibble over a penny here and there.  Even a nickel is worth it to me if it is more convenient to pay it rather than save it.  But $1.99???  

At day's end, I just couldn't bring myself to stop at the gas stations closer to school as I'd planned.  I could still hear the siren song of the less-than-two-dollars gas.  The question was this:  could I make it?  

As I drove past the first gas station, I steeled myself and did not even turn my head longingly towards the pumps.  At the second station, I must admit that I did gaze forlornly at the gas waiting to be placed in my tank.  Gas will get me home.  I like going home...

A third and fourth station were passed in the same manner.  By now, I was in an agony of indecision.  Should I proceed or do the sensible thing?  I finally realized that it was best to let the car decide.  

I bought the new car last spring.  At the time, I figured that, if I was going to be making two car payments on one car, then I'd at least have one with cool stuff in it.  Hence, the car is smarter than I.  It will tell me all sorts of things like whether or not I am cold or if the oil situation is about to go south on me.  It will also tell me how much further I can go with what's left in the gas tank.  It assured me that I could go for many more miles.

But I just couldn't believe it.  Cars have lied to me before.  Cars have led me to believe that they were broken and forced me to pay lots of money to be told that they are fine.  Cars have exploded on me with very little warning.  Cars lie regularly.

But the gas was $1.99.  That is cheaper than some yarns, for crying out loud!!!  

I was wracked with anxiety and convinced that I was driving on mere fumes and a strong tailwind.  And yet I drove on.  Each mile that rolled past increased my stress levels.  What if the car lied to me as cars so often do?  The one thing this car doesn't have is that cool button you can push to summon assistance from some helpful satellite.  I don't remember the last time I charged my cell phone.  I'd be stranded!  Was the cost of more readily available gas ultimately the greater bargain?  What if I was stranded out there in the cold and lost a thumb to frostbite?  Then I'd have to have that surgery where they take one of your toes and sew it onto your thumb-hole and that is most certainly going to cost more than $1.99!!!!!

Things progressed in a similar vein for many, many more miles.  I almost had a heart attack from the stress of it all.

For the record, the car spoke true.  I made it home with fuel to spare.  The irony here is that I did not stop for gas when I got within range of the Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey And Sweetie And You Sort Of Like That.  I was too exhausted from all the angst.  I just went home to rest.  I'll fill up tomorrow morning.  It's not like it's an emergency or anything like that.  I have plenty of gas.  The car says so.  No need to get all excited about it...

There is every reason to believe I should be heavily medicated.  Or that I am in need of a vacation.  Or a weekend...




The Absurdly Gi-Normous Kitty has retreated to his Cat Cave.  I'm not certain that he understands the workings of the female mind.


It was $1.99 a gallon.  What can I say?  Cheap gas can make even the most stable of individuals go a little off-track, right?

SA

13 comments:

trek said...

Last week, I filled the tank at the wholesale club's gas pumps for $1.89 a gallon. Today, exactly one week later, I was picking up some things at the same wholesale club and gasoline was $1.77 per gallon. Except I still have more than half a tank of $1.89 gas.

Don't know whether to be all depressed about the cheaper price this week or happy that I still have more than a half tank a week later.

Yarnhog said...

Bet ya it's $2.01 tomorrow and you kick yourself all the way to school. :)

Karen said...

The best price in my area is $1.89. The grocery store I frequent has a program where you can earn money off at their gas station. I scored $1.74 gas this morning. I only needed half a tank but I bought it anyway.
I hope the price has dropped again tomorrow when you go to buy your gas.

Kath said...

At home on the island my vehicle is a golf cart and like many of them, mine does not have a gas gauge. You just open the compartment, take the cap off the tank and eyeball it!

AGK looks very cute peering out of his cat cave!

Anne said...

1.87 on my way to my evening class tonight --I find this scary, don't you?

Julie said...

I sure hope your car wasn't lying to you and that you make it to The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey And Sweetie And You Sort Of Like That before you run out of gas!

Donna Lee said...

I heard on the radio this morning that oil was down under 50 dollars a barrel. Wasn't it just 3 months ago that it was 116 dollars a barrel? What happened here? I saw gas at 2.01 a gallon and will fill up after work today. I can't figure out this whole gas pricing thing. I'm not only math challenged but now I must be commodity challenged as well.

Mia said...

that kitty is just too photogenic for words :) And i feel your pain with the gas station decisions.. I do the same thing.. just playin' my own game of chicken with the fuel tank. One of these days I'm gonna lose :)

Becky C said...

Gas hit 1.59 here this morning. I suddenly find myself in the odd position of being conflicted eveytime it drops further. There are those that say it's a bad thing, yet I can fill up for less than $15. Just hope it doesn't jump back up too much in time for the holiday driving.

Alwen said...

Maybe you need your own version of the cat cave!

It went down to $1.79 here last night but my little low-fuel light did not go on until this morning.

Cursing Mama said...

I don't know how far you can get on what you have left in the tank, but if you can make it to my neck of the woods -which is a little out of the way, with it being Minnesota & all - gas is ranging from $1.67 to $1.79.
Now if the price of milk would just go down.

Jeanne said...

In NW Ohio, the lowest price is...

$1.62/gallon

Not to rub it in, or anything...

Lynne said...

$1.99 a gallon?
Ours is $1.09 a litre. That's almost $5.00 a gallon! Given that $1AUS buys about 65c US, that's $US3.25 per gallon! And two months ago, it was over $1.50 a litre! [given we almost had dollar for dollar parity, that's $US6.75 a gallon]