Perhaps, the greatest innovation in the automobile industry to date is the low fuel warning light. The sudden illumination of that little light is such a perfect way to bring attention to the situation. Our car here on Maui is without any such light. Tonight, I ran out of gas. My first thought when my Chevy Celebrity lost all of it's momentum and I noticed that the gauge was far too far to the left; "It's due time for a little adventure." So, then and there, at 10:30 p.m. I set off to find a little fuel so I could continue my drive home.
When one runs out of gas there are choices to be made. Should I go back the way I came, or the way I was headed? Should I call for help, or rely on myself? Should I leave the hazard lights on, or not? Should I hitchhike, or walk?
The main point, of course, is to find the nearest gas station. The location of the nearest station will more than likely be the deciding factor to most of the choices to be made. My problem was, I couldn't, for the life of me, remember exactly where the nearest station was. I knew that I passed one, but I had no recollection of how far back it was. I also knew that I was just outside of Kihei Town, so if I headed back into town I would come across a station. Kihei has two main roads; an upper highway, and a lower coastal road. They run parallel about half a mile apart. My car was on the side of the upper highway.
Beth was working, so I didn't call her. Anyway, I'd gotten myself into this, and I would get myself out. Since, I couldn't remember how far back on the upper highway the gas station was, I opted to head the way I was going and cut back down to the lower coastal road. I also didn't leave the hazards on, just because there weren't that many cars passing anyway. As for hitchhiking or going on foot, I decided to run. I already had my running shoes on.
25 minutes later, and about 3 miles as well, I came to a gas station. I bought a gallon can and filled it up. Now to get back to the Celebrity. Outside the station there were no less than 3 police officers diligently protecting their late night snacks. Quite an opportunity for Maui's finest to help out an upstanding citizen. No such luck. When I asked if they could give me a ride back to my car they replied; "umm. You're spilling gas on yourself." It's true; I was. I had forgotten to close the air valve.
Then he clarified that they were not allowed to carry passengers for such a frivolous cause.
Luckily, I met a guy named Brock just outside the station as well. Coincidentally, he had a truck, and so I got in. Believe it or not, I had roughly made a half circle since I left the car. Brock helped me complete the circle, and in so doing, he revealed exactly how far behind me that gas station was I had previously passed. .3 miles. That's right POINT 3 MILES from the Celebrity. Do you know how far .3 miles is? Well, it's far enough to keep the gas station just barely out of site.
It doesn't matter really, I still got gas. I had a good run, and a better story to tell.