Gas – arrrrrrrrrrggh!

Today is my favorite holiday of the whole entire year – National Talk Like a Pirate Day. But instead of posting all my favorite pirate jokes, my “ARRRRRR” this year is not to celebrate the vocal genius of the pirate – it’s in frustration for the ridiculous fiasco I just went through to get gas.

We’re driving to my in-laws this weekend, and I only had half a tank last night. So my plan was to get gas on my way between campuses today, then be set to go.

Well, I was running late leaving the one campus to get to the other, so I didn’t have time to get gas…. AND every gas station between my office and the interstate was out of gas.

So, on my way home from the Nashville campus, I started the search for gas. I got off the interstate 15 miles from home so I could begin searching for gas stations on back roads, since none that I had passed alongside the interstate had gas.

In 10 minutes, I passed 10+ gas stations with no gas. I even got duped into pulling into one, because everyone was lining up, so I thought maybe there was gas. But no, everyone else was just fooled, as well.

I called Brandon to ask if he had seen gas anywhere when he was on his lunch break. He was able to pull up a website & tell me where some people had been finding gas locally (gotta love technology).

So, the Mapco and Home Depot gas stations on Moore’s Lane were both supposed to have gas, or had as recently as 2 hrs prior. I went that way, only to find that the line for the Mapco was already backed up across the interstate overpass. I found out why as I passed the gas station: a tanker truck was there, filling up the station. So, if you need gas & live in this area, go get in line now…. there might be some left when you get to the pump.

I opted to go to the Home Depot gas station, so at least I could wait in line in a parking lot, rather than an overpass. There were at least 40 cars in front of me in line, but the mine was moving relatively quickly. Within 35 minutes I was 2 cars from the front.

Just as I was doing an inner victory dance at finally getting to the front of the line, though, I heard the most horrible words that could have been uttered from a pump: “Is this seriously cash only? Why don’t you have a sign up?”

Ah, yes, to top off my sweaty 35 minute parking lot bake (I turned the AC off to – you guessed it – conserve gas), the credit card system at the Home Depot gas station was down.

Yes, seriously. I take back my “gotta love technology” line.

So I pull up to a pump, and go ask the nice gentleman directing traffic if they have an ATM inside the gas station.

“Well, yes,” he says, “but it’s out of money.”

Freaking fabulous. 35 minutes in line, no cash on me, must have gas to get to Alabama, and I am royally screwed.

Our conversation continues:

“All I can tell you, miss,” says the traffic-directing gas station man, “is that some other folks have been driving over to the Home Depot store and buying a pack of gum to get some cash back.”

Me, with much dismay in my voice: “And then drive back & have to sit in line again for another 40 minutes?!”

Gas Station Man: “Well, you probably won’t have to worry about that, because we’ll be out of gas by then.”


Insert my pirate “ARRRRRRR” here – in a totally non-funny, stressed out wail of a scream.


So, after a nanosecond of deliberation, I did what any other person would do in my situation….. left my car parked at the pump, crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t start a riot, and RAN to Home Depot. Forget the whole move my car bit. No more lines for me.

120 seconds, lots more sweat, a bag of Sour Patch Kids, and a brief altercation with the man parked at the pump later, and I was standing back in the gas station, happily handing over my cash.

Fortunately my car was still there, and there was enough SUPER UNLEADED left to fill my tank.

Sidenote: My car doesn’t know what to do with premium gasoline in it. I think it purred when I pulled away from the gas station.

So against all possible odds, I now have a full tank of gas and am ready to hit the road. I hope Brandon is ready to listen to all of my pent-up pirate jokes between here and the Alabama state line.


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