It was a beautiful Saturday morning, which for me meant I was in as great a mood as I can possibly be. Well, as great a mood as one can be when his head is pounding and his mouth tastes like fermented cat urine. As you may have guessed, I had spent the previous night imbibing in cold, refreshing beverages of the kind that do not get sold at Baptist picnics. I’m what most people call a “lightweight”, which means I do not drink very much, and it does not take very much to, uh, put me in “high spirits”. So I know my limits and I rarely cross them. So last night when I was already tipsy and my friends were asking me if I wanted another beer, I knew what to do and I defiantly stood my ground.
“Sure,” I said defiantly.
Okay, so last night perhaps I wasn’t so smart. This is why I felt so miserable this morning. However, I knew there were certain things I wanted to get done today. On a lot of weekend mornings I usually offer to help my parents on a project they have that I call “Putting Away Their Leftover Breakfast Pancakes”. This is a job I take very seriously, and no hangover was going to stop me from helping my folks out. So I called my mom and she said to come over in about 20 minutes or so. Apparently, they had finished all the pancakes, so it would be a few minutes before she could make some new leftover pancakes that I could help them with. I’m just glad I can be there when they need me.
On the way to their house, I noticed that my fuel light was on and my gauge read completely empty. I’ve often wondered why, when I fill my gas tank after it reads empty, I find that there were usually about two or so gallons of fuel actually still in the tank. I imagine it’s to prevent people from running out of gas, but it also has the effect on a certain group of people like me—namely, morons—to push the limits to see how far they can go.
Apparently, not far. I ran out of gas. You would think with all the modern technology in new cars, especially mine which has a digital dashboard, there could be some way the vehicle could tell you that you really, truly, for sure, are about to run out of gas. I mean, it’s got a digital readout! Can’t there be warnings that say, in succession:
- EXTREMELY LOW ON FUEL
- REALLY TRULY EXTREMELY LOW ON FUEL
- DUDE, I’M NOT KIDDING WITH YOU, GET SOME FUEL
- LISTEN MORON, GET SOME DARN FUEL OR I’LL SPEW COOLANT ON YOUR NEXT DATE, SHOULD YOUR UGLY MUG EVER BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO ATTRACT ANOTHER ONE
- START WALKING, BRAINIAC
No, the car companies refuse to install this simple device, so there I stood. It’s times like this that I’m so glad I live in the same city as my parents. There is just a feeling of, well, security, knowing that when the chips are down, when things are all going wrong, I can turn to my beloved mom and dad for that truly understanding “helping hand”.
“You dumb ass,” my dad said helpfully.
I guess I forgot about the required lecture. My father’s motto seems to be “always be there when my kids need me, and make sure to make them feel a little dumber for having asked”. It’s a small price to pay, though, because he did help me get a gas can and some fuel for my car and my hands. By that, I mean that there’s apparently some law that says that new gas cans are not allowed to be water-tight. This results in gas being leaked on my hands, so that even after several washings I still smell like the street grate at an Exxon station.
In the end, my dad helping me out enabled me to return the favor by eating their fresh, hot-off-the-griddle leftovers. Before I end this column, I want to let you all know that as a bachelor, I have a lot of time to help people with this problem of having extra food. So if you ever need this type of service, let me know and I’ll pull up to your driveway right away. I’ll be the one that smells like Premium Unleaded.