Why not start out the new week with a healthy dose of self-deprecation?
Let’s review the basics before we get started:
-I’m from New Jersey.
-People are paid to pump your gas in New Jersey.
-I’ve never had to pump my own gas.
-I haven’t had a car in over three years.
-The Fiat 500 has ridiculously exceptional gas mileage. E.G: I’ve had it since November, 2011– and I think I’ve been to a gas station about four times since then. Seriously.
-Ergo, I’ve pumped my own gas about four times in the last 5 months, across the past 25 years.
Why, I did it just this past week. Twice. In a row.
Oh, the humiliation!
Okay. I’ve composed myself. Here’s the story. Set the scene. Last Thursday.
Little Doña Farfalle the Fiat 500 is running dangerously low on fuel. (Sidenote: not truly dangerously low – that would be unwise! This blog is all about responsible, albeit oftentimes brain-dead, driving. Wait. Wait, wait, wait. Let’s strike that from the record. And proceed. Yes. So. I had about 1/8 tank left. Is that dangerously low? Whatever. This is the worst parenthetical thought ever.)
Like the good car owner I am, I decide it is high time to head to a gas station for her to fill up and chow down on some unleaded goodness, lest we be stranded in the middle of Duluth all by our lonesome.
So I head to the Mobile station near my apartment, and what luck! There are no other customers around – I can park at whatever pump I choose.
But which side is the gas tank on?
Maybe it’s this side, I think, as I pulled up neatly next to a pump.
Park. Turn off the car. Get out of the car. Walk around to the pump.
Nope. It’s on the other side.
Get back in car. Turn car on. Back away from pump. Pull into adjacent pump, not really taking the time to factor in logic, heck, who needs logic, and determine how to pull up to the next pump, so that gas tank is on proper side.
Resume humiliation. Get back in car. Turn car on. Back all the way away from pump. Awkwardly navigate to furthest pump, this time, miraculously, factor in logic. Align side of car neatly against (but within reasonable distance of) gas pump. Et voila.
“This pump here’s full service,” says the kind, sweet savoir, another gas station attendant who’s come out to my car from inside the garage. “I’ll pump your gas for you, but it costs eight cents more.”
“Yes. Yes thank you. That’s fine. Thank you. I’m from New Jersey.”
I’m not sure if he saw my pathetic attempt to, not once – but twice, get to the very first phase of gas pumping – and two subsequent miserable failures. If he did, he was a gentleman about it, and didn’t bring them up, thus allowing me leave the Mobile station, after paying him in full (gosh, I wish I had tipped him), clinging to the last shreds of my dignity.The most important part of this story, of course, is that Doña Farfalle the Fiat 500 is no longer hungry, and we can enjoy many a drive now that her tank is full.Where shall we go? Chicago? Cleveland? Niagara Falls? New York City?
Why not all of the above? Plus some extra special stop-offs…
Oh yes, we’re planning a cross-country road trip in the Fiat 500. And we’re going to videotape the whole thing (term “videotape” used loosely – do people still use videotape?). And there’s going to be trivia questions. And boots-on-the-ground interviews. And high-fives. Oh yes. There will be high-fives.
So stay tuned. We could be coming to your town.
BUT! Not before fitting the Fiat 500 for a super sweet skin! I’m still kicking around ideas, but have to come up with something pretty quick. Have any suggestions?