This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which i play chicken with my gas tank


I hate filling up my gas tank. No seriously, I hate it. I don’t know why but I spend large amounts of time trying to decide if I’m going to run out of gas or not and whether it’s worth stopping to fill up the tank. Kevin constantly gets in my car and bitches at me about how I’m always on empty. I really don’t know why I hate it so much, but I have spent my life playing chicken with my gas tank.

I’ve only actually run out of gas once. I was 17 at the time and getting ready to make a left turn into my high school when … nothing. My car died. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was until I realized that I had run out of gas. Normally, it wouldn’t be such a big deal but I was first in line in the left turn lane and the signal had just turned green. People started honking but alas, my car was dead. It was actually quite embarrassing holding up a line full of students when your school is pretty large. Finally, I managed to beg a friend of mine to take me up to the gas station so I could get some gas. Of course, we were late for school, and everybody knew that I had run out of gas but finally I got my car going again.

Did I learn my lesson? In a word, NO. Flash forward thirty some odd years and I haven’t changed. I have managed to drive around two days with my car saying that I had 0 miles to go until empty. Kevin has always topped off his gas tank when he gets below two bars and he asked me why I let it get so low. I explained that if you fill it up at two bars all the time, you end up stopping at the gas station twice as often as I do and I hate going to the gas station. He told me that was crazy thinking but I feel that if I let it get down to empty, I have to fill it up less often.

“Doesn’t that add extra stress to your life?” I get asked quite a lot. Not really. I believe (I’m really not sure as I’ve never bothered to check) that I have a 24 gallon gas tank and I’ve only actually put in 23 gallons once ever. Usually it’s just in the really high 22’s thus indicating that I must have at least one gallon of gas left in the tank which equals 14-17 miles before I actually run out of gas. I have driven around on empty often enough to know that my car is just fucking with my mind. Between the gas tank light trying to make me stop and my navigation system lady trying to tell me where to go, I feel like it’s a challenge to keep the car under my control. A challenge that I am bound and determined to win!

This is off topic of course, but I love fucking with my navigation system lady. She says turn left so I go straight just to see what she’s going to do next. “Slow down and make a legal U-Turn as soon as possible” is her typical response. She’s incredibly inflexible and I always tell her “no” and continue on. Having no recourse, she eventually adjusts her route to my thinking. Why am I telling you this? I have no idea. As per usual, this is another rambling post which started with my gas tank and ended with my nav system.

So, back to the gas tank. Why do I play chicken with the gas tank? Just like nobody puts Baby in the corner, there is no way my car is going to dictate my every move. So I’ll get gas when I’m good and goddamned ready.

I’m just saying…

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  1. Kristin
    November 10, 2010

    If my husband had read this, he would have sworn that I wrote it. We have the exact same argument all the time and I always tell him that he can do the math (he's one of those geeky engineer types who really will "do the math") on how many hours I've saved in my life by not filling up near as often as he does.

    I too have only run out of gas once, and although it was my truck, I wasn't driving so I really don't think it counts. Unlike you though, I have on several occasions put in 24.6 and 24.7 gallons in my 25 gallon tank.

    My dad passed me on to your blog (he apparently went to high school with Kevin) when I started my own blog about living in China. I totally enjoy laughing out loud at all your posts. =)

  2. Peggy Sue Brister
    November 10, 2010

    I play chicken with my gas tank too. I could paste this post on my blog and it would fit. =)

  3. NIC
    November 10, 2010

    Thank you for letting me know I am not alone! Seriously, I pay for AAA because they will bring me 5 gallons of gas when I lose the chicken contest. And it's often. More often than Clint knows! I get my money's worth!

  4. Jeanine
    November 12, 2010

    I play chicken with my gas tank too , but another clever trick is to switch vehicles and take your spouses car on those days u know he cant get far without filling it. #1 then its his fault if he runs outta gas #2 he fills up your tank. Do that enough and he'll get the hint and start filling it up for you after hours ;) jeanine

  5. kristy.c
    November 14, 2010

    Im a new follower. I love your writing style, you should write a book (thats if you have not done so already). Im looking forward to reading your future blogs. your hillarious…

  6. alitalyn
    November 16, 2010

    I do this very thing ALL the time. I choose to ignore the fuel gage and then when the low fuel light decides to blink and scream at me, I flip it the bird and keep going. It's now to the point that my husband fills up my gas tank weekly just so he doesn't get a phone call begging him to come get me when he's an hour away.

  7. Mara (@chickymara)
    March 27, 2011

    I also have played chicken with my tank for years. Not only do I hate going to the gas station, but this is my way of living on the edge. My Ford Flex kindly counts down the kms remaining to me. So far, I’ve been down to 7 km remaining. I like to see how long I can go without refilling, as I’m a gas miser. I think I need a support group.

    • Lynn
      March 27, 2011

      That’s funny…I’m not living on the edge. I just hate filling up with gas!

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