Day 59: Running on Empty


I’ve always secretly wanted tempt fate in this way…that is, as long as someone else was with me to walk to the nearest gas station. Anyway, running on empty wasn’t intentional. A friend and I were driving in the middle of nowhere, lack of cell phone reception, and mile after mile stretching before us without any indication of a petrol stop.

We asked our intelligent car, “Where the ^*&^€%#; is a gas station?!”

The car just shrugged in response, its needle dipping lower and lower. The electronic readout read one mile until empty.

Yet the car chugged on.

We giggled nervously until the GPS screen automatically switched from a map to the ominous emergency screen which said, essentially, “OMG! Like, seriously, you HAVE. NO. GAS! OMG!”

At that point our euphoria at living on the edge turned to dread. If we continued to have cell phone problems, what would we do? Neither of us was keen on walking an unknown distance… Would we hitchhike? Yes! We probably would. We’d stick out our thumbs and we’d…

Friend: Wait, wait…that wouldn’t set a very good example for our kids. We can’t do that!

Me: Well, do you want to leave the car and walk? I’m not walking. We can’t separate. We have to stay together.

Friend: You’re right. The buddy system! Using the buddy system important to demonstrate to the kids. We’ll use the buddy system…as we hitchhike. If we die, we’ll die together. 

With that settled, we looked at each other and smiled (the friend and I, not the car and I. The car wanted nothing to do with me after what I was putting it through).

It was hard, at that moment, not to channel the classic Seinfeld clip.

Exhilaration filled us! This is it! We were going ALL. THE. WAY!

We locked hands, ala Thelma and Louise.


And just then, after rounding a corner, we spied it in the distance: A lonely, glittering Exxon sign.

I’d like to say we rolled in and the car stalled right in front of the pump…but the truth is, we drove up and parked right by it just fine.

Still, we lived life on the edge! We taunted the Universe, dared it…and, dang it, we prevailed.

Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.


4 thoughts on “Day 59: Running on Empty

  1. i once ran out of petrol in my driveway. I wish it had been at a petrol station. Luckily, I live 3 blocks from the petrol station, so was able to walk down and get some.
    When we were in France, we nearly had a moment like this. We couldn’t find a petrol station open anywhere. The 24 hour ones wouldn’t accept our credit cards. And our hire car was due back that morning. It felt very similar to what you describe here.

    • Wow, that’s impressive, running out of gas right in the driveway! Maybe next time even if we make it to the gas station we will pass it up and just keep going… Although I’m sure there must be much more interesting ways to tempt fate 🙂

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