Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Distracted driver, right here

Admit it. You saw the post title and were all "Oh ...  Debbie texts and drives. Probably with the kids. And a beer in her other hand. That's about right."

Well, surprise, surprise. Texting and driving is the one thing I actually don't do. I know, I even surprise myself. What will not surprise anyone who is related to me, married to me or married to the person who fixes my speeding tickets, is that when it comes to me and motor vehicles, I do stupid stuff. All the time. Which is probably the main reason I try not to touch my phone when the car is in drive. I know only too well how well cars and I do not mix. Speeding tickets aside, over the years I have gotten into my fair share of fender benders, put the car in the ditch, scraped the garage, backed into countless cars and the like. Just this past weekend I left my car parked outside our friend's house for three days with the sunroof wide open. Thankfully, it didn't rain. Much.

Well, friends, I am here to tell you that today's little feat took the cake.

This morning I went to Waterway, just like I do every Tuesday morning, to fill up my car and get it washed. While the car was filling up, I removed countless Goldfish and Cheerios from Charlie's car seat, organized the mess of books and dug under the seats to find missing children's sunglasses. After filling up, I got in my car and headed to the car wash entrance, only to hear a loud thunk as I pulled away. The second I heard the noise, I knew what had happened: I drove off without removing the gas nozzle from the car. You see, I knew exactly what had happened because I have done this before.

So, I jumped out of my car, removed the nozzle—they are designed to break away without spilling, in case you were wondering—and walked it back to the pump. Of course, one of the young guys that works there was instantly at my side, asking if I was okay and assuring me that this happens all the time. As he paged the general manager over his walkie talkie, I got back in my car and started to pull up to the wash entrance. I then saw the general manager coming around the corner, and since I am there every. single. week. and don't plan to break my clean car habit anytime soon, I  jumped out to apologize. He smiled, said it was no problem, that it happens all the time and was easy to fix. So I went to get back in my car. Only it was locked. With the engine running.

The general manager, who was only a few feet away, saw this, walked over and said, "No problem, I can get into that car. Hold on." He came back in a minute with professional grade locksmith tools (I know they were professional grade because duh, I lock my keys in the car all the time) and seriously had me back in my car in under a minute. So I pulled my car up to the wash, left the door WIDE OPEN and, head hung low, walked into the store to pay for my gas.

While I waited for my car, I texted Chip, who feigned concern but, let's be honest here, was really only worried about the car. My next call was to my sister. Sherri has a true appreciation for the stupendously stupid things I do to cars. Probably because the first and last stupid car thing she ever did was put our 1980 Ford Tempo up on a a railroad tie ("I thought it could make it over."). While Sherri's car mishaps stopped in 1995, I have been cruising along for the past 20 years, leaving scraped paint, dents and nozzles in my wake. So, when I told her this morning's news, she immediately burst out with, "Again?!?" What more could she say, though? I am who I am.

What's interesting about this is that while Sherri seemed surprised that I had done this yet again, Chip didn't seem the least bit surprised to hear that this was the second time in my life I drove off with the nozzle still in the tank. God bless him and the fact that he doesn't make me drive a 1980 Ford Tempo.

While I am definitely embarrassed, there is no way in hell I am not going back. Having a clean car is addictive, I'm telling you. And if you, too, want a clean car, go to Waterway. Specifically the Shrewsbury Waterway. Those guys are saints.


  1. Hey at least you realized this time. I believe you drove quite a way down the road last time with the nozzle hanging out of your tank. So maybe you are getting better?

    Oh and don't forget the time you hit my car PARKED right NEXT to yours in the driveway at mom and dads....

    Maybe Chip should handle all of the child related transportation.


  2. Sherri and I are just thankful for people like you that drive off with gas nozzles because that's why we have jobs. Sounds like a successful wash. These trials and tribulations are why I never wash my car.


Leave a message, please. You know how I love the comments.