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!
Meanwhile...my 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 enough..my 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 hose..no 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 destination...my 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. ;)