Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Stupid Will Ran Out of Gas: A Commuting Adventure

The other morning, I was already running late for work.  I noticed the gas gauge was at empty, but that I not completely unusual for me.  I am very good at knowing how much gas I have, having only ran out of gas one other time in my life. 

Stuck In Front of a School

This particular morning, I was on my way to the gas station when I chugged to a stop just feet away from the entrance of an elementary school, just as parents were beginning to bring their kids to school, on an already busy road that led to a major toll road.  I immediately whipped out my roadside assistance card and called them to have someone bring gas to me.  I was still 2-3 miles away from the gas station, and being in front of a school, it was not a good idea to leave my truck there.

Yes… I own a truck.  I used to have a relevant need to own a truck over a more fuel-friendly vehicle.  I no longer need a truck, but having another car payment is not an option at this time either.  :(

After a few moments of phone options and being on hold with my insurance provider, she finally came on and told me that they would send someone out, but I’d have to pay the driver directly because my roadside assistance expired back in April.  I was confused, but needed the assistance immediately, so I told her to send them out.  I called home since I do not manage this bill, only to find out that the roadside assistance was not expired.  Kim, my lady, began to take care of that for me.

The whole time this was happening, I had my hazard lights on to warn people to change lanes.  However, even though I really shouldn’t have been surprised, I was completely surprised at how many people were not looking at my truck at all as they approached it.  They were doing everything but driving…  Doing their hair, make up, playing with their phone, reading, and more.  Then they would come to stop nearly at my bumper, leaving no room to maneuver around me.  When the traffic began moving, the would then get very upset, yelling and throwing their arms around once they realized I wasn’t moving. 

Although my stupidity was partially at fault for their frustration, they didn’t know that.  I could have been sitting there for any number of reasons, including a legitimate break down or a fender bender.  This was really their fault for not paying attention to the car in front of them, including the hazard lights. 

I couldn’t even guess how many times this happened while I was sitting there.  It happened so many times, that I later manually confirmed my hazard lights to be working properly.  They were indeed working.

The Cops Show Up

Knowing that my presence presented not only a major inconvenience, but also a safety hazard since I was in front of a school, I began to search for the dispatch number for the local police department.  As I was entering in my search terms into my G1 phone, I heard a knock on my window.  It was a female police officer.  I was laughing out loud as I rolled down the window.  After I told her what happened and what I was doing at the moment, she began laughing too. 

Once again, to my surprise, she offered to help push my truck into the school parking lot.  However, I had to wait until her partner drove up.  He is a motorcycle cop currently just down the road.   In the meantime, I was to stay in my truck and wait while her cruiser was behind me with the lights on.

Her partner showed up, and they instructed me to just stay in my truck while they pushed it into the school, where I was to pull into a gravel are of the parking lot.  Something you don’t know is that both the school entrance and the gravel parking lot are slightly uphill.  I have pushed a number of vehicles in my time, and I was more than doubtful about their ability to push my truck without my help.  After all, the motorcycle cop appeared to be just an average-sized guy, and the female cop was almost a petite sized woman.

The pushed me into the parking lot without any problems, and nearly made it all of the way up and into the gravel lot before stopping for a break.  At this point, two crossing guards helped them push me the rest of the way up into the gravel lot.

I was amazed!  I was also extremely grateful for their help.  This is the first time that I have ever had such a positive experience with (on duty) police officers.  Usually, they are all business, no help, and full of themselves.

The Gas Comes

After what seemed like almost 2 hours, the tow company showed up with the gasoline.  However, the driver had literally no idea how to pour the gasoline into my tank.  That sounds odd, doesn’t it?  Well, the gas kept leaking, and not pouring into the tank.  While the guy went to find something in his truck to make a funnel out of, we noticed this!

Hilarious!!!  This is why he was having such troubles using something that seemed as simple as a gas can.   He came back form his truck with a poster board and refueled my truck.

Even though nothing about this experience was very green, convenient, or happy, I was once again on the road.  I proceeded to the nearest gas station where I filled up, and washed my truck to get the gasoline off of it.  Then, I went next door to get some breakfast. 

Just in case I didn’t have enough crap on my plate today, one more surprise was waiting for me…  As I turned left out of the drive through lane, a cup holder that has never before allowed a drink to spill, allowed my drink to topple end-over-end onto the floor.  The lid had already come off halfway to the floor, so the mess was already there before I could think about it.  The only highlight this time was that the drink was an unsweet tea, so no sugars would ruin the carpet.

{SIGHS}  That was my commute to work one day last week.  Needless to say, it sucked!  I do however have to thank the police officers that helped me.  They were nothing short of incredible!

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