Where does the good go

Running on empty

Fun new post up on I Had Outs

Anyway, I decide not to rebuy and instead drive over to the mall in May’s Landing to finish blowing my non-existent children’s inheritance on 2010 tech that if I don’t get it, I WILL DIE!

My mission was a complete success and now I have the Xbox Kinect, a whole home theater entertainment system and the BIGGEST FLATSCREEN TV IN THE WORLD! VinNay can go to hell.

After confusing the third floor and the fourth floor for a minute or so, I finally collected Mary and Alceste. Everyone was up for the trip. Some in cash, some in electronics in the back of their cars. We’re swapping our war stories on the way back and playing a rousing game of Dead, Canadian, Both or Neither.

Quick: Carrie Underwood! No cheating.

I’m in the right lane because it’s dark and we’re going by those Jersey barriers I’m so scared of. I see we’re about to pass the gas station at Exit 78. But it’s a right hand exit and it’ll take too much effort to get over. I look at the gas gauge and it’s leaning on the edge of E, but the digital reader also says that I have 23 miles left of gas. That’s way enough to get to the next gas station at Exit 90. I drive on.

We keep up our banter, Alceste and Mary are yawning and tired, I am still very chipper and alert, buoyed by my savvy black Friday weekend deal snagging and night of shameful slumber. We pass Exit 85 and the digital readout now says we have 9 miles of driving left. Oh man, I’m cutting it a bit close. By Exit 88, I’m a little worried cause I don’t see any signs pointing to the gas station yet.

The hell?

I must have a really bad tell because Alceste goes “What’s wrong?”

I’m all “Well, I thought there was a gas station at Exit 90…but I haven’t seen any signs.”

“How much gas do we have…” *Insert Alceste Sigh of Extreme Irritation*

“SHUT UP! It’s NOT MY FAULT!!! I thought it was Exit 90!!”

We’re now at Exit 91. We have, according to the readout 6 miles of gas left.

Alceste is looking up gas stations on his Evo, but it says “position locator is temporarily unavailable.”

Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.

“What should I do?? Should I pull off? Should I get on the shoulder?”

5 miles of gas left.

I push the SOS button on Prince Eli.

The BMW customer assistance guy comes on and he’s all laid back, no care in the world with his “good evening, the is BMW concierge assistance how may I help you?’”

And I’m all less laid back and calm with my


Okay, and I will admit, that sitting here, under the harsh fluorescent lights of daytime and after a good non-alcohol induced night’s sleep, I don’t exactly know why I thought running out of gas would kill us…but, I did. I imagined a fiery explosive death on the Garden State Parkway with Alceste sighing in the passenger seat and Mary laughing in the backseat.

Anyhoo…back to our tale.

“The gas readout says we have 3 miles of gas left, can you tell me where the nearest gas station is?”

“Sure, I can help you with that? Who am I speaking to?”

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHO ARE YOU SPEAKING TO??!!! GET ME TO A GAS STATION, WHITEY!!” (Dawn, having decided that using the phrase “Negro, please” indiscriminately is too racist, now says “Whitey,” instead. You’re welcome, America.)

So, he tells me there is a gas station in the Town of Brick Township or wherever we were and says it’s less than a mile away.

I am still flying down the Garden State because I believed a gas station had to be near! How could I have been so wrong about the Exit 90 thing?!!

BMW guy sends me directions to Prince Eli’s navigation console. However, that console had shut down 60 miles earlier when Eli first informed me that we were low on gas. As I tweeted once, when my car needs gas, navigation system is the first to go, then the entertainment system, then, or so I imagine, the car explodes.

We were long past the entertainment system working. Mary opines that the guy never bothered to send the info at all.

“You know everyone who works at that BMW call center takes the bus to work. He’s all ‘fuck that idiot Beamer driver who’s too dumb to get gas before the gauge hits empty.’”

Greeaaattt. He probably thinks that if I run out of gas, I’ll just leave the car on the highway and buy a new one! Mike Tyson style.

The car dropped down to 2 miles of gas left. AND THEN WE SEE THE SIGN:

“GAS 4 miles.”


I decide to move over to the right lane, just in case we stop. Alceste told me to slow down. “You’re burning fuel too fast at 80.”

I tried. But I was panicking too much. Speedometer hit 83. The gauge fell to 1 mile.

The next sign advertised gas in 2 miles.

Oh dear sweet baby Jesus.

The car gauge flatlined.


Where there were once numbers counting down, now there was just horizontal yellow lines running across the console.

5 Responses to “Running on empty”

  1. Pearatty Says:

    That’s a pretty good cliffhanger that gets me to go to the poker blog.

    What is bad about this is that now you’re always going to believe that you have a reserve when your car tells you your tank is almost empty.

  2. Dawn summers Says:

    Oh no. I was so freaked, I’m now back to my filling the tank.completely before parking it customs.

  3. alceste Says:

    So when I wanted to stop 50 miles earlier and you were already low on gas, were you just thinking you wanted to get as much cheap jersey gas as possible when you passed the first service area?

  4. Pi Says:

    I always tell Peih when he freaks out about the gas being low that there is plenty of reserve after “empty” for the idiots . . .

  5. Dawn Summers Says:

    Shut it.

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