Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cleaning the car to pay for gas

No fog, no rain, just sun, sun, sun.

 It was a 1970 summer San Francisco day so perfect it insisted my friend and I hop in her car before our afternoon work shift, and ride up and down the hills to the beach.

The windows were down, and our glossy long hair blew back off of our faces. We sang "Here Comes the Sun" along with the Beatles on the radio.  I beat out the rhythm on the outside of the car door ignoring Mother's habitual warning that my arm could be cut off if we were in an accident. She was a thousand miles away and couldn't see me! My smile was as big as a giant slice of watermelon. 

This was before reserve gas tanks and blinking icons on the dash board, and without notice the car just quit. My friend glided to the side of the road. THEN she noticed the dial registered the big E.

We had neither cash nor a credit card, so it was time to scrounge for change. The glove compartment was crammed with stuff but only coughed up $0.07. We jerked out the wide back seat and sifted through dried snack bits, a couple of chewed up pencils, and scraps of paper to find a nickel and five pennies.  We had enough for a half gallon since gas was only $0.35 a gallon.

Giggling at our great fortune, Megan ran across the street (more good luck) to a service station. The attendant,  "Chuck" according to his uniform, carried over the gas can and poured it into the tank. 

We gave him a wave, slid into the front seat from opposite sides and slammed the doors at precisely the same time.  Back over the hills to work, we had to run from the parking lot to the time clock. We were  a few minutes late but the adventure was worth the scolding we received.

I was nearly giddy at this price for gas today. 

But buying it has never again been as much fun as it was that day. 

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