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Monday, January 4, 2010

Running On Empty

Yesterday, DZ, Adeline, and I picked up Peter at the house in the city and went out to dinner at The Pizza Place (recommended in the current Sunset Magazine) in San Francisco with DZ's cousins, Bob (and his family) and Eben. Had a wonderful visit and some tasty pizza. They serve dee-lish sweet potato fries. Scrumptious.

We headed home around 10:00 pm and I am driving. Here's snapshot of our journey home:

As soon as we get on the freeway, the idiot "gas light" came on.

Me: I think we should stop and get some gas, the "gas light" just came on.

DZ: There is a station off Hickey Blvd.

Adeline: It's Sunday.

Peter: You have plenty of gas.

Adeline: You have two gallons of gas when the idiot light comes on.

DZ: Are you sure? How do you know?

Missed the Hickey exit

Me: I can take 380 to 101 where there would be more gas stations available.

Peter: I wouldn't do that--you have plenty of gas.

DZ: You missed the exit for 380.

I notice I am being influenced more by Peter and Adeline than by DZ.

Peter: You should just stay on the freeway. Be adventurous..live on the edge...

I notice a "gas" sign by the Trousdale exit sign. I get off the freeway

Peter: Why did you get off the freeway?

Me: There is a gas station down the street.

David: Where are you going? (he did not notice the posted "gas" sign).

Gas station is closed. It is now 10:30.

Peter and DZ: Don't go looking for any gas stations...get back on the freeway.

I turn around and return to the freeway.

I notice a sign which says: "Next Gas 19 Miles".

Adeline: We can't call anybody to rescue us if we run out of gas because everyone is in the car.

Peter: You have enough gas.

Me: If we run out of gas, you are walking to fetch us some.

DZ: If we run out of gas, we can call Martha. We've just got to get closer to home.

Me: Oh yeah, she would really like that!

Peter: You should turn off the radio, it uses gas.

Me: I didn't know the radio "uses" gas?

DZ: It is very inconsequential, but anything that draws on the battery affects the gas usage.

Me: Maybe I should turn off the headlights--haha.

I turn off the radio. I continue travelling around 60 mph--and remove my foot from the gas pedal when we go down hills--probably should drive like this more---maybe I would get better gas mileage.


Me: This has been a very interesting ride. It is so quiet.

DZ: This has been a STRESSFUL ride.

Me: You need to relax.

I notice that the gas gauge hasn't changed much --seems to remain at the "E" position! Really hope it is accurate. The gas light fades at times. Hope that is accurate too!
Reach El Monte exit and notice we are still running on empty. Phew--down hill all the way!

Adeline: You can just go through the stop sign--oh, good, there is no stop sign in this direction.

Luckily we have green lights all the way to home--well, one was yellow and I sped through that intersection.

DZ: You did good going through that yellow light--you were well into the intersection before it turned red.
I make a furtive glance to check for any cops laying in wait, waiting to slap on a ticket.

We roll into the driveway.

I'll get gas tomorrow.

What a ride, running on empty!

Moral to this story:

Make sure you are adequately gassed up BEFORE embarking on a trip.

(I hear echos from my dad, who was once a private pilot, and who never lets his gas gauge read below the halfway mark.)

POSTSCRIPT: I just returned from the gas station and filled up my tank. The nozzle clicked off at 18.9 gallons. I checked the specs on the gas tank capacity for a 2ooo Toyota Sienna and it is 20.9 gallons. We had 2 gallons to spare! A lot of unecessary sweat dripped last night.


Molly said...

We ALWAYS drive on empty. We figure we have about 50-60 miles in reserve fuel. I know it's bad, but I hate getting gas and often procrastinate as long as possible. :)

Susan said...

That story is such a crack-up! I really loved Peter's comment about turning off the radio! As Jim and I continue to slog through the "newbie" stage of fifth-wheel ownership, we have learned a lot about energy consumption and conservation. And trust me, not our gas tank, but our batteries, have run on empty! And then NOT run on "dead". Oh, the joys . . .