Monday, March 06, 2006

Livin' On The Edge In Georgetown

When I was younger I had this origin-unknown fear that we'd run out of gas. The moment the meter went below 20% I became worried that we'd be stuck on the side of a rural road and eaten by crows. I never thought crows would get us, but that would be the next logical step. My thinking was wrong for two reasons. 1. The reality was we always had plenty of gas to get there and back, and 2. There's no such thing as a rural road in northeast New Jersey.

When you see this...

As I've, gulp, matured, I no longer fear imminent death with low amounts of gas. Now I practically revel in my ability to cheat emptiness. When I've said those famous last words, "Sure I'm low on gas, but I think I can make it to the gas station," I've only been burned once, about 8 miles from the Maryland House reststop on 95 North, and that was about 7 years ago.

...either get to one of these...

I cut it close with Silverman a few weeks ago while on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring as my car started beeping and yelling at me to give it some fuel. I almost considered putting it in neutral and coasting down the last hill before safety at the Exxon/Mobil station just before the beltway. This morning, my fellow carpooler said, "I think I've got enough gas in my car to get to work, but then you'll have to fill it up." Here we go again. Those famous last words that have a nice caveat at the end, letting you know it'll be kahriboo-sana (that means "very close" for the Swahili readers out there). Really, it does.

...or call AAA for one of these...

After dropping her off it was time for the last 7 or so miles of my morning commute. Before I was 200 feet from her, the warning light came on with a few beeps in case I didn't get the message the first time. This wouldn't have been an issue if we hadn't hit traffic a mile before the Key Bridge which never happens. Yes, there's an Exxon station there, but the light wasn't on yet so I kept going and I was told the car can go quite a few miles on empty. I made my turns and headed onto the GW Parkway. Then it hit me, why didn't I just stop and get gas at the BP station I just passed after dropping her off and play it safe? Afterall, last week, a truck misjudged its height and stopped everyone at the Memorial Bridge. If that happened again today, I'd be screwed. the ominously called "murder of crows" don't attack you.

However, just like the idiot contestants on "Deal or No Deal" who keep taking chances for slight increases in money when they should just hit the button, I went ahead with my drive. By the way, as dumbed-down as that show is, I still watch it and really enjoy the over-zealous/annoying contestants end up with a few bucks after turning down 10s of thousands. Anyway, I got to work and made sure I filled up before parking for the day. Of course, the next time I'm low, I'll stubbornly go ahead with my drive and once again, hope that it's not the one day where I hit some traffic and run out.

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