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Panic In Year 2017

It’s about these hurricanes. Too many people’s lives have been upended because of Harvey, and Lord knows how many more lives will be with Irma.

Of course, living in Dallas, we’re far enough away from the Gulf (at least for now) that we only got some rain and cooler weather from Harvey. That is, if you don’t count that gasoline panic that hit last week.

I usually pay no attention to how much gas is my tank. There’s a caution light that tells me when it’s time to tell Karl to fill ‘er up. But with the panic in its early stages last Thursday, I checked the “miles to empty” thing on my car when I was heading out to do my errands. 47. Not good. Better bite the bullet and get gas myself.

But with lines in the street at the stations that still had gas, I quickly determined this might be a Karl problem. (Apparently, you can’t make reservations at a gas station.)

By the next morning, I had discovered the “gasbuddy” thing online and found out that the 7-Eleven near us had gotten gas, having been out the day before. So I headed out on a mission.

I was only third in line for the pump, which wasn’t too bad. Hardly awful enough to complain about. Until I actually got to the pump.

First up, there was no premium, and my kitty cat car doesn’t like regular. Well, too bad, Kitty—there are cars in Houston who wish they could get regular.

So when I pulled up to the four pump station, three of the four of us obviously did not know which side the gas tank was on. And, of course, we were all on the wrong side.

I assumed from the clear frustration of the two ladies who shared my dilemma that none of us are in the habit of filling our own tanks. The three of us all got the nozzle, pulled the hose as tight as if we were pulling Spanx over a bulging tummy, and discovered it wouldn’t reach. Back in the cars we went, to reposition.

Up a little, back a little, diagonally toward the pump. Out of the car we go and do the hose stretch test again. Failure.

Now the lady in front of me in her Lexus was OVER IT. She pulled forward, swung out, and backed that puppy up perpendicular to the pumps. The other lady and I watched, looked at each other, and nodded. We got in our cars, backed up, swung out and did the same thing. Mission accomplished.

Of course, the man at the fourth pump—who knew which side his tank was on—was completely blocked in until the lady ahead of him finished getting her gas. I suspect he thought it best to wait patiently rather than risk saying something to a woman on the edge, with two edged out compatriots at the other pumps.

So, see, we all had problems from Harvey. Well, if not problems, we were at least seriously inconvenienced. Perhaps not seriously, but I had to leave the house early in case there was a long line for gas. Which there wasn’t, but I did spend 15 minutes outside of a 7-Eleven, which was something I normally wouldn’t do.

So let’s all prepare to share Hurricane Irma, with the people who are directly in its path. We’re not likely to drown from it, or have our home destroyed by it, so let’s clear the shelves of all the Puerto Rican rum and have a shortage so we can feel some of the pain. We can post on Facebook which liquor stores still have Bacardi and how much the prices have spiked.

Please do this for me. I just bought the “rumbuddy.com” domain name.



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