Dull Day

It must have been all the partying I did on Father’s day but today, I’m feeling punk, no energy, no motivation, no desire for anything. I forced myself to take a walk during the hottest part of the early afternoon, and I am glad because it started raining shortly after I returned. We had a typical summer thunder boomer with high wind, hail, and lots of heavy rain. Now, we are in after rain stillness. It is the kind of day when one would benefit by taking a nap.

Summer has officially arrived in Illinois and for once we had a normal spring which transitioned into a summer. The past few years we had winter followed by a couple days of really cold spring followed by the heat of peak summer. In other words no smooth transition.

COVID-19 is still around here with fifty new cases in our county today. We also have an abundance of testing sites. Manufacturing companies are screening employees in the parking lot before they are even allowed to park. If one has a temperature he just keeps on driving to return home. The attitude in general still prevails with masks and social distancing unless you are in an outdoor eating and drinking establishment. Evidently the virus does not like outdoor eating and drinking.

This morning I had to make a deliberate trip to the gas station to fuel up. Why? my tank showed one gallon left. It is the driest I have ever allowed my car to get in the past fifteen years. I use the dash board display which shows the number of miles remaining in the tank and have always gotten fuel when approaching 100 miles remaining. Today, the meter showed twenty-five miles left.

When I was a young man and my first car was a Volkswagen bug I had the habit of running out of gas with great regularity. The bug didn’t have a gas gauge, but when the tank level reached one gallon the car started to cough and stall and hesitate. That was the signal for the driver to stretch his leg to the firewall and move a lever from vertical to horizontal. That little trick opened the tank to allow the final gallon of gas to be burned. If I was within thirty-five miles of a station I was safe. If not, I walked. When I first bought the car I used the final gallon trick constantly, except I kept running out of gas. It turned out that the final gallon valve didn’t work. I kept complaining to the German service agent at the dealer that the thing didn’t function. He only stared at me in misbelief and refused to check it out. In order to convince him that the valve didn’t work I ran the car out of gas, and my dad towed me to the dealership. I didn’t tell them what the problem was, I just told them the car would not start. A day later they called to tell me the car was fixed. Dad drove me to the dealer and I retrieved my bug. I asked what the problem was and the answer was. . . drum roll, the gas valve didn’t work, and they replaced it. I never ran out of gas again.

A year later I traded the bug for a brand spanking new Karmann Ghia. What a beaut it was. It was really just a bug dressed in Italian clothes. It still relied on the final gallon gas valve for gauging the fuel. On days when I forgot to refill and I knew it was low, I’d take my wife’s car to work and leave her with instructions to go to the gas station before she went anywhere. On several occasions she ran out of gas within a few yards of the fueling station. Poor lady would end up pushing the damn thing the final fifty feet. She never forgave me those incidents and was always my talking gas gauge afterwards. Whenever we got into the car together her first words were “do you have gas?”

4 Responses

  1. I had on older Bug and went through the same thing. My favorite VW was my pop top camper.

  2. These days, with nowhere much to go, fuel isn’t running out. I last filled the tank on 20th March, over 3 months back, probably the longest ever. 😦 My friends, including in the US, have a similar experience.

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