Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maybe it was the four-leaf clover charm I was wearing around my neck.

Last night around 11 p.m. we were driving back from visiting Chris's mom on Long Island in a car borrowed from Chris's buddy when ... the car ran out of gas.

Chris was talking on the phone to his sister when he said, "Oh [no], the car is running out of gas!" and he hung up and pulled over into the right lane and started driving more and more slowly. I didn't fully understand what was happening and I was like, "Don't drive slower! We have to get to a gas station! Speed up!" He said, "No, honey, the car is doing that on its own." Aha.

So he pulled off onto the shoulder and tried to restart it but to no avail. We had just passed an exit and we could see it on the other side of the highway so he was like, "I'll walk, you stay here" and I was like "No way what if a cop comes it's not our car and it still has California plates!!" He was like, "Oh yeah, and it's not insured." I was like, Greeeat. So we both got out and hopped over the guardrail and we were lingering nervously about to make a run across four lanes of traffic when ... a cop car pulls up.

So the cop rolls down the window and Chris says, "We ran out of gas" and the cop's all, "Hop in." He drives us to the nearest gas station which it turns out, is not near at all, and is also not at the exit we were heading for. "Yeah," the cop said, "You're very lucky I came along. You would have been walking a looooooooooong time."

So we get to the gas station and the cop lends us a can out of his trunk and Chris is filling it up and I took a photo of the dashboard with my cell phone and texted it to my sibs all, "I'm in a cop car!" Meanwhile Chris is trying to make small talk with the cop and he spills gas all over the can, which is the one thing the cop asked him not to do but I think sort of endears him to the cop, who just laughs.

So then the cop is driving us back to the car and he asks, "Is the car registered to you?" and Chris has no choice but to say, "No." And now my heart is pounding, pounding in a way it hasn't yet had time to do, even when we hopped over the guardrail, because it's literally only been ten minutes since this all started.

So the cop pulls up behind our car ("our" car) and turns his flashing lights on and takes down Chris's name and address on his notepad. I'm praying really hard while trying to maintain a cool, friendly facial expression, although I'm sure I looked totally agonized. And then ...

... he lets us out of the car and sits watching as Chris pours the gasoline into the car. Chris shakes the can free of gasoline and gives it back to him and the cop tells us the next gas station isn't until exit 49, so don't use the next two exits. We say thank you so, so, so much.

We drive away, and I pray a lot more that we won't run out of gas AGAIN as we drive what seems an enormously long distance to the next gas station, and the car is starting to coast on fumes literally as we turn into the Sunoco. But we made it. And made it home and to bed by midnight.

The whole adventure took less than twenty minutes. And restored my faith in both the friendly constabulary and guardian angels.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

wow!

The Other Lion said...

i am so glad that the story didn't go, "and there i was, alone in the car IN THE DARK ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD...."
good stuff. LOVE you.

Smarty said...

oh hooray i'm glad you were saved. i wouldn't want to be left alone on the side of the road, ever!