I have a habit of driving around on fumes – I don’t know why because it doesn’t cost any more money to keep petrol in the car than to drive on fumes.
On my old car I had an alarm that used to go off when I had 100 km worth of petrol left. I always ignored it and would often drive in a panic to the petrol station when I suddenly noticed that the gauge was at 000!
My husband goes mad – he can’t understand why I just don’t keep the car full or at least fill it when the alarm sounds.
I got a new car this year and of course I am getting used to it so I am still not sure when the alarm goes off and tells me I am low on petrol, what it actually means! It sounds when there is 80km worth of petrol left in the car and of course I say to myself 'now does that mean I have 80km worth of fuel left or does it mean I have 80km worth of fuel left and then some fumes?'
The alarm sounded on my way into work last Monday and I ignored it, intending to get fuel on the way home from work – of course I never did!
On Tuesday morning I was driving to Tallaght Hospital for treatment and just as I was at the turn for Baldonnell, my car started to feel strange. I was in the slow lane so I sort of egged the car on as far as I could and then I pulled in to the side of the road. I knew immediately what was wrong. The dial was at empty, there was a big fat 0km staring at me from the petrol gauge. In fact if my car had the ability to show minus in terms of petrol – it would probably be reading minus 10km.
I was stranded and it was totally my own fault. I couldn’t ring my husband – well daren’t really! Well he couldn’t help anyway, being all the way up in Dublin, and he would have said ‘I told you so!’ and he would have been exactly perfectly right!
I do have breakdown cover and I know that one of the most common things that they attend to on the roadside is a person running out of petrol. Not much consolation to me though as I sat at the side of the road with no idea where the nearest petrol station was and with cars whizzing by so fast that the car shook each time.
But then a car drew up alongside me on the hard shoulder and the driver rolled down his window. ‘Are you alright?’ he asked. Mortified I sort of laughed and said ‘eh…. well I have run out of petrol’. He said: 'Where are you going?' and I said ‘Tallaght Hospital', adding for good measure 'for treatment’. I totally played the helpless card.
He unlocked his car and said hop in. I rummaged around in my car, making sure I had my bag. Before I sat into his car I also made sure I had my phone – well he could be an axe murderer and I had always been warned not to take lifts from strangers.
Just before we pulled out into the stream of traffic I said: 'Hang on I need to make sure that my car is locked!' He looked at me and said: 'Well it’s not going anywhere is it!!!!!' 'I suppose not I said', burning with embarrassment.
I had a look at him and he was very good looking – he also had a sort of a sensible/safe look about him so I relaxed a bit – I still kept hold of my phone though, just in case.
I apologised to him for making him late for work. He said: ‘It’s fine’. I asked him had he far to go and he said: ‘I am on my way to Baldonnell Airforce Base’. 'Oh I said',wWhat do you do?' He sort of smirked and said ‘I am a pilot’. Well, all I could think was wait until I tell the girls in work. I run out of petrol on the N7 and I am rescued by an airline pilot! It could only happen to me!
As it turned out I could have walked to the petrol station as where I broke down was just around the corner from a huge petrol station. I told him I could make my way back to the car – he was reluctant to leave me to my own devices. 'It’s okay', I said, 'I am well able for this, I am a scout leader you know'. He looked at me and said: 'er isn’t the motto of the scouts to be prepared?'
When I got over the shame of his parting words to me, I did text a couple of the girls to tell them what had happened. It was a lesson well learned though.
So the moral of the story is: ‘Do what your hubby says and keep your car filled with adequate petrol to guarantee to get you from A to B or A to Hospital! But I prefer this one: The moral of the story is - if you run out of petrol, make sure you are on the N7, just at the turn for Baldonnell Air Base, so as your knight in shining armour might turn out to be an airforce pilot.
I still haven't told my hubby what happened!