Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gas Pump Botch

In honor of Father's Day I thought I would share this funny and special memory that I have with my Dad:

It was my junior year of high school on the first day of buck season which in Pennsylvania is always the first Monday after Thanksgiving. My dad and I were going hunting together. It was approximately 4:00 a.m. on a freezing Pennsylvania morning. Our plan for the morning was to stop and get gas in the truck, eat breakfast at Creekside restaurant, and then head to my brother's house which was where we were going to hunt. As we were pulling out of the driveway, my dad made a comment that I will NEVER forget. "Well, it's 4:15 if nothing happens we will be right on schedule." I thought to myself," It is 4:15 in the morning...there is no one on the roads at this time of the morning...what could possibly go wrong?!"  Boy, did I think wrong. If I had been told that this cold November morning would turn into a story that would be told on the first day of buck season for many years to come I would have never believed it.

We pulled into the gas station and up to the gas pump.  My Dad got out of the truck and put the gas nozzle into the tank. He then saw a sign that said, "pre-pay 12:00-6:00 a.m."  Who would have ever thought that this seemingly insignificant hand written sign on a piece of cardboard would vastly influence the chain of events which followed?

My dad went inside to the gas station to pre-pay and to buy a container of coffee cream. Meanwhile, I was sitting in the truck and had no idea of the pre-pay sign. I thought My dad had already pumped the gas and was going in to the store to buy creamer. All I remember is sitting in the passenger side all bundled up in my hunting garb and thinking how cold I was. I reached over and turned the key...everything that happened after that is now a blur. My dad's Dodge Dakota truck which is a STANDARD truck was IN GEAR. The truck took off with me in the passenger side. I felt like I was yet again, in a bad dream! It was like I was having an out of body experience watching with horror everything that transpired. I was dumbfounded! The only thing I could think of to do was lay down on the truck seat and try to reach the brake. Of course the stick shift was in my way and did not make this easy. As I leaped across the truck seat to hit the brake I accidentally landed on the GAS! dad was turned around looking for coffee creamer when he heard the gas station cashier yell with horror, "who's truck is that?!" My dad turned around to see his Dodge Dakota whizzing through the parking lot with no driver and headed right for a shiny new VW Jetta( the owner of course was a businessman who was in line for his daily coffee) As if this wasn't bad Dad noticed that the gas nozzle was ripped off of the gas pump, but still in the truck's gas tank and was leaking gas all over the parking lot.

Meanwhile... I had FINALLY, praise Jesus found the brake!!! I was laying on the seat with my hand on the brake when my dad found me. He was so confused! He was not expecting to find me in the car. He actually had no idea what had happened to me or what had caused the series of unfortunate events. "WHAT DID YOU DO?" he yelled. All that I said was, "I got cold." (keep in mind that at this point I am still laying across the seat with my hand on the brake).  He jumped into the truck and I am pretty sure that I saw smoke coming out of his ears. He said,"Janel, oh my goodness. Oh my goodness what am I gonna do." I am not exaggerating when I say that he said this at least 5 times. He whipped the truck into reverse and jumped out of the truck to survery the damage at the pump. The gas nozzle and line obviously had been ripped from the pump. My dad jumped into the bed of the truck and tried frantically to reconnect the gas such luck. He actually ended up getting gasoline all over HIM in the process. He jumped back into the truck and sped off before you could say"let's get the heck outta dodge!"  

We drove in akward silence for about 15 minutes until we got to the restaurant where we were eating breakfast. We sat down and the waitress came to our table and asked what we wanted to eat and that is when it hit my Dad. He started laughing in her face so hard that she huffily walked away. When she came back he tried to explain to her why he was laughing, but he couldn't even talk. That is when I knew that I wasn't going to be in trouble. We laughed the entire breakfast and as we were leaving my dad said,"hey! I never did get my five dollars in gas!"  Anyone who knows my Dad knows that he always only gets five dollars at a time..lucky for him!

Once we finally arrived at our brother Jim walked out and asked,"why do you guys smell like gasoline and homefries?"  Dad and I looked at eachother and laughed. Dad said, "boy, do I have a story for you!!!"

Needless to say, we drove all the way to Benton and back on fumes. After our day of hunting we passed by the gas station and the gas pump had a black trash back and duct tape covering it. The sign said "out of order." 

To this day, my ears always itch on the first day of buck season. ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beach Cruiser Bonanza

Two years ago on a beautiful, sunny, and seemingly routine day in Wilmington, my husband Daniel took me out to eat for my lunch break. Daniel noticed that I had a few minutes left before my lunch break was over and asked if I wanted to check out the bicycle shop in the strip mall next to my work.  I had previously mentioned to Daniel that I would love a hot pink beach cruiser for my birthday! (he earned major browning points for remembering).

We started looking at the bicycles and with the first price tag we noticed that they were definitely out of our price range. We were hoping to sneak out unnoticed by the salesman. We walked out the front door and just when we thought we were home free the salesman came up behind us. He asked if we were looking for anything in particular and Daniel briefly mentioned that I wanted a pink beach cruiser for my birthday. Of course there was a line of beach cruisers outside of the shop which we just happend to be standing by when he found us. There in the line of overpriced beach cruisers was the most beautiful bike I had ever seen! The perfect shade of hot pink with shiny chrome and it even had a basket! I could visualize myself whipping along the beach with my hair tousled in the wind with my little chihuahua Jeter sitting perfectly in the basket(hey, a girl can dream!)  

It was beach cruiser love at first sight! Just as the salesman pointed it out to us the shiny chrome actually winked at me just as the sun hit it! But my beach cruiser love quickly dimished when I happend to catch a peek at the $2,000 price tag! Before I even had a chance to say a word, the salesman asked me if I wanted to ride it. I immediately said, "no thank you."  Remember, I was in my office work clothes and of course sporting my ever present high heels and to top it off I hadn't ridden a bike in at least 15 years! Let us ALSO not forget my bad luck which always seems to follow me. Even my brief moment of childhood nostalgia wasn't enough to override my fear of humiliation. But the salesman just would not let it go! We went back and forth at least 4 times before I finally said, "fine,I will ride it!"  Inwardly I was chuckling because I knew it wouldn't end well and I also knew there was a very beneficial lesson to be learned for this salesman. All in all, I still hoped for the best.

As I climbed on the seat, I immediately noticed that it just didn't feel right. I am barely 5 foot tall!  I could hardly reach the peddles and the handlebars were spaced so far apart I looked like I was driving a Harley! My high heels and dress clothes did not help matters any. I immediately lost control and veered off of the sidewalk and into oncoming traffic. You could slide a sheet of paper between my bike and the car coming towards me as I whipped back on to the sidewalk just milliseconds before we collided!  Right now you are probably thinking to yourself, wow, that was a close call, but thank goodness you made it to the sidewalk.  But this, my friend,  was only the start of the fiasco. As you remember, I whipped back on to the sidewalk. Just as I reached the sidewalk, two girls just happened to be walking down the sidewalk towards me. All I can remember about these two girls is the look on their faces when they saw me barreling towards them: SHEER PANIC! I ended up driving right between them as they both dove out of the way just in time. Wooh! Another crisis averted! But again, a shortlived victory when I remembered that my high heels were hindering me from peddling backwards to hit the brakes. I decided to head towards Daniel and the salesman in hopes that they could help me stop.  I knew I needed to brace myself because this.was. not. going .to.end. well. The beautiful line of beach cruisers I mentioned earlier? Well, they broke my fall! I crashed into them going full speed and they all fell down like dominos! The only thought racing through my mind during the collision was,"MY HUSBAND IS GOING TO KILL ME!"

   As soon as I hit the ground I was so embarassed so I jumped up as fast as I could like a little kid and grabbed Daniel's arm for comfort. Then I surveyed the damage. I suffered minor cuts and scratches to both knees, elbows, and hands and a very bruised ego. The bike? Well, it suffered MUCH worse! I thought for sure we would be leaving the store with a $15,000 bill(being that there were so many bikes involved in the crash).  But all the salesman could muster was,"Well, I did  tell her to ride the bike."

I didn't say a word. Daniel didn't say a word. We walked solemly back to the truck. Once inside the truck, we both just sat there speechless for what seemed like eternity. Finally, Daniel broke the silence with "YOU FORGOT HOW TO RIDE A BIKE!"

The following month Daniel surprised me with a Wal-mart youth sized blue beach cruiser which he lovingly spray painted hot pink. The license plate reads "Lil' Jan".