Monday, May 14, 2007


It's two in the morning on Sunday. I'm halfway into the trunk of my car, hacking at the liner with a utility knife. In my teeth I've got a star head screwdriver.

Early Saturday morning, I went over to Steph & Aaron's for brunch with them and Heather. This was followed with about 5 hours of helping to assemble wedding invitations. My job was tying the knots for the ribbons. One hundred thirty two square knots. That is easy money, even if I was getting paid in bacon and banana bread.

Aaron and I made ourselves scarce before various bachelorette activities began. We went to Union Station to pick up his brother David, who accompanied his wife Alex to town to celebrate with Steph. Unfortunately, the lines got crossed and we waited for forty minutes in a torrential downpour while David rode the Metro to his hotel in L'Enfant Plaza. After some driving adventures, not to mention almost having a truck back into us, we picked up David and went to see Spider-man 3. Driving over the Potomac in the storm, it was coming down so hard I couldn't see the lights in Virginia. I was convinced the power was out, since all I could see were a few streetlights along the interstate. Luckily, that was not the case.

I choose to withhold commentary on Spider-man 3, save to say the trilogy seems to follow the pattern of the original Star Wars. Good start, great middle, ending... not so much.

As we left the movie, Alex called David and a not entirely clear sequence of events began. We were going to take him back to L'Enfant anyway, so would we mind picking her up in DuPont Circle? Of course not. But it would be rude to pick just her up - it's only fair to give all the women a ride. So, shortly thereafter I'm driving down 16th Street, then past the White House, with 8 people sandwiched into my car. I'm sure I will catch hell for this from my folks when they read this [Happy Mother's Day, Mom!].

So people are talking and laughing, and I'm paying VERY close attention to my driving, as you should do when you are being stupid. Because I am so attentive (and a great planner), I am the only person in the car privy to very important piece of information. The computer indicates the car has about 10 miles before she runs out of gas. We are running on fumes.

But we get to L'Enfant Plaza without trouble, and offload 3 people there. So, everything is fine. A quick trip to the King Street Metro station, then I drop off the remainder and head for the closest gas station that is open at 0100 in the morning. Stop the car, hop out, swipe the credit card, select my fuel... hmmm, that's odd.

The flap over the gas cap is locked. I try the power locks, to no avail. I check the fuse, no change. I break out the owner's manual, and luckily it has instructions for this exact situation. But the instructions call for a utility knife, which I don't have in the car...

So we return to our intro. I make it home (4 miles left in the tank) and begin the work. I do what the manual says... and it still won't open. Out of exhaustion, frustration, and my traditionally poor judgement, I simply pry the flap open with a screwdriver. No real damage - it won't lock again, but that is no great concern to me. It is spring loaded, so it stays closed, and that is enough.


kelly said...

I give you props for knowing, down to the mile, how much farther you are able to go with your tank of gas. As for me, I guess and pray!

How is the DC weather treating you? Any boat rides in the future?

Dan said...

Welllll... Stella has an onboard computer that uses a fuel flow meter and the gas gauge to estimate how many more miles you've got left in the tank.

DC is getting too hot and too humid. Perfect weather to escape out onto the water.