Many years ago, one interesting thing I discovered about my mother-in-law was her view concerning the gas tank of her vehicle. She was obsessed with never letting the gas gauge of her car fall below the one-half tank mark! Any time my mother-in-law and I went anywhere, we always began our trip with a stop by the gas station! Most of the time, she’d ask her husband to go and fill up with gas, prior to our trip. I always found it amusing that she found it necessary to buy gas when the tank was already at least half full. Her reply was, “I like to keep plenty of gas– in case of an emergency.”
I suppose my mother-in-law’s view could have come from years of living close to a busy highway, where someone was forever running out of gas. There was always a constant stream of people stopping by her house to “borrow” gas, or use the telephone. Occasionally, this still happens. In fact, someone ran out of gas just last week! Ed gave them a ride to town.
How well I remember hearing my mother-in-law fuss and complain when one of her sons would borrow the car, then bring it home with an empty tank! Ed admits he was guilty of bringing home a car with an empty tank, too,”because there wasn’t any place open to buy gas.” In his defense, back in our dating days, most, if not all, of the gas stations around here closed at dark. There were no convenience stores back then–only an occasional truck stop at the far edge of town. As teenagers, we spent a lot of time “riding around”. By the end of the evening, the car was usually low on gas!
When I first met Ed, he was driving a car his parents had passed down to him. It was a 1961 Mercury, and it was pink! Don’t you think it takes a “real man” to drive a pink vehicle? I did! That car had a few “quirks”, one of them being a gas gauge that didn’t work anymore. Ed never shared his mother’s vision of keeping plenty of gas in the tank, so you guessed it–one day, while on a date, he and I ran out of gas! Fortunately, we ran out of gas near the home of a cousin of mine, so we walked to her house and used her phone to call someone to bring us some gas. Following that experience, I began having my own fear of running low on gas!
I didn’t get my own car until age 26, but from day one, I never let my gas gauge fall below one-fourth of a tank. It’s a rule I still follow today, and, in fact, I feel myself beginning to panic once the hand actually touches the quarter of a tank mark! If you want to see me get irritable and break out in sweat, just put me in the car with my daughter. She rarely worries about getting gas until the warning bell sounds in her vehicle! We’ve had a couple of close calls while traveling together.
I nearly fell off my seat the other day, when Ed said he was going to start keeping his car “half-full” of gas at all times–in case of an emergency! What?! I guess some of his mother has finally rubbed off on him after all! A chip off the old block…
What are your thoughts? Do you like to keep plenty of gas in your vehicle, or do you only buy gas when the warning bell sounds?
By the way, did you notice the fuel gauge photo at the top of this post? I find it sort of humorous, especially in these difficult economic times.