Running Out Of Gas

So I was browsing at Finding Sarah when I came across her lengthy account of running her car down to the fumes and why it seemed like a good idea at the time, and how she thought she’d wriggle out of getting caught at it, but in fact got most righteously busted.

I think I left you all hanging with the fact that I (almost) ran out of gas and got caught by my ever vigilant and none too pleased husband. I want to stop to emphasize the “almost” part here. Almost is a very important word. I almost won the race. I almost got the job. I almost ran out of gas. Almost is the difference between what might have been and what is. Now if I almost did what he told me to do I might make a case for “almost” being right next to “done”, but as the reverse is true and I almost ran out of gas, but did not, I am going to present my case insisting that the facts will show that I made it to the gas station, filled up, and in fact no damage was incurred, except perhaps to a certain part of my anatomy, after the fact…but the car was fine! Let the facts show there was no actual running out of gas!

But Grant is funny that way. He gets all caught up in the technicalities. Technically, I am not supposed to let the tank go below ¼ tank. He’s said it multiple times; I know it… but I was busy, distracted, running late, and doing things for him! Isn’t it amazing the excuses we can find!

However, I need to start at the beginning…

This brought back fond memories for me. A long time ago when Bethie and I had not been together all that long, she “almost” blew up a planned day excursion by running our van completely dry; we coasted into a gas station on fumes while trying to make a ferry sailing that we’d have missed if the gas station had been a hundred yards further away.

But was I grumpy? Not really — It’s more like I was cheerful, much to Bethie’s chagrin. (In fact, she says I was “almost gleeful.”) I was cheerful because I immediately knew I was going to cane her, one stroke for every gallon that I could fit in the tank of that van. And she knew it too, if only because I made sure she did:

I was cheerful because of the sheer justice of my cause. Not filling the gas tank whenever it drops near a quarter tank is one of those petty domestic offenses that’s baffling to your average man, and certainly to me. It’s pointlessly dangerous, creating too much risk of harm or serious inconvenience, for no benefit at all. I’d been nattering at Bethie for a year about this, and I purely hate the sound of my own nattering. But caning her for letting the gauge dip low seemed a bit petty. So when the tank ran dry as we were hurrying to catch a ferry for a fun excursion day? Nothing petty about that! I was cheerful because I finally had an inarguable excuse to redress a persistent problem.

Funny thing, though. I’ve caned Bethie a lot harder since then on much flimsier excuses, or even at her request, or just for fun, but she’s never since that day let me catch her with the gas gauge below a quarter of a tank.

  1. Sara commented on October 24th, 2010:

    Come to think of it, I thought it a bit odd, Grant was quite warm and even cheerful too…all the way home to my impending reckoning. Sheesh, I STILL don’t see why it’s such a big deal, but (blush) my tank gets religiously filled at 1/4 tank now too!

  2. SpankBoss commented on October 24th, 2010:

    Funny how all the patient “mansplaining” in the world bounces off like it was hitting the armor plate of a battleship. But a little “direct” communication works wonders! ;-)

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