Friday, October 2, 2009

Running on Empty =-(

My husband sent me this photo via his iPhone with the words "You didn't get gas" accompanied by an unsmiley face. As you can see, the car indicates we have zero miles before running out of gas (right there under the temperature of 55 degrees). Which begs the question: If you are imminently going to run out of gas, is your first inclination to take a photo of the gas gauge and send it to the offending party who left the car running on empty? This would not be my first thought. My first order of business would be in fact filling up the car at my earliest convenience so as to possibly not run out of gas and THEN chastising the person who didn't fill it up. But that's just me. Also, isn't it a little dangerous to be driving 7 miles per hour while simultaneously photographing your dashboard? =-(

Anyone who knows me knows an unsmiley face is very upsetting to me. While other people might take it with a grain of salt, an unsmiley face to me is akin to "F@%# off and die! I want to kill you!" You can make me feel bad about anything, no matter how small the transgression, if you attach an unsmiley face to it:
  • The dry cleaner put starch on my shirts =-(
  • The car has a dent in it =-(
  • You lost the children again =-(
When I didn't do my chores in our house in college my roommates would leave an unsmiley face on the work chart (sometimes I got a double unsmiley face) and that would usually make me hop to attention. They may have even resorted to proactive unsmiley faces knowing in advance I wouldn't perform my household duties. I wonder where my fear of the unsmiley face originates. Perhaps I got one in pre-school while my fragile self-worth was still in development and never quite got over it? Let's put that on the list to discuss with my therapist, shall we?

Alas, my husband did NOT run of gas which just supports my theory that you can drive cross country on an empty tank. The car just warns you way ahead of time to make you panic and fill up unnecessarily. The car industry is probably in cahoots with the gas industry and this is their way of scaring you into getting gas when you don't really need it.

By the way -- and perhaps this goes without saying -- in case I ever ask, don't lend me your car.


  1. OMG, what I would give for a guage to tell me how many miles I have left!! The second that little orange gas pump light comes on, it doesn't matter if I can tell that I have 1/8 of a tank left or that I know for a fact that I can at least drive 30+ miles and still be okay, I have a goddamn heart attack and stop at the nearest gas station!

  2. I once ran out of gas, not even kidding, entering the gas station. Seriously, I was in pushing distance. Do you think the gas station would lend me a jerry can to make it the last 20 feet? Nope. But they'd sell it to me, for $30. Know what I did? Phoned CAA (that's AAA, Canadian style), they pumped $4 into my tank and I drove to the next gas station, across the street.

    I fancy myself a nice person (bahahahaha) but cussing and hand gestures (keep in mind the finger is part of the hand) may have been involved.

    And that, my friend, is what horns are for!

  3. I agree with you: gas first, chastising second. Did you tell him that he would have been worse off if something happened when taking and sending pics on his phone than just an empty gas tank?

    I feel your pain about the unsmilley face. I feel that way when someone gives me the stink eye. I do think it goes back to my childhood.

  4. I so enjoy the phrase "stink eye". I gotta work that into my vocab.

  5. I impressed that he also included a nose.
    :-( I usually do it the lazy way :( just eyes and frown. Text before gas seems like a poor choice.

  6. I hate the sad face; it's the written equivalent of "I'm not mad, just disappointed." Or an S-, if you grew up with that grading system.

    I also once ran out of gas as I was pulling into the gas station. I actually blocked two entire lanes of traffic, and I was of course trying to turn left, so I pretty much shut down that corner of the city. Fortunately a couple of guys in another car took pity on me and helped me push it in. What did I learn from that experience? That I could get exactly 400 miles out of a full tank of gas in that car. Not that you should fill the tank when the needle rests on E and the little light comes on.