First off, I've never run out of gas. My dad claimed that he never did, though he fessed up to rolling into a station, "on fumes." I do remember as a child screaming and hollering at the old man to "Get some gas, Daddy! Get some gas!" whenever the needle got anywhere below a quarter tank. Second off, I almost ran out of gas tonight. My Mom, a very dedicated and sad Illinois fan, had an extra ticket to the Rose Bowl and I wasn't that hungover, so I bit the bullet, paid $30 for parking, and watched USC QB John David Booty slaughter the Fighting Illini. Hey, at least I got to goof around with my new 300mm lens (see above). However, as I got off the freeway on the way to the game, the yellow low fuel light came on.
If you've never been, the Rose Bowl has the greenest parking lot in the entire world. I'm not talking about the number of hybrids — though it probably ranks #1 in that regard, too — you actually park on an adjoining golf course. All that grass makes for some great tailgating and some horrendous traffic when the game lets out. Put it this way, I got to my car before 6:00 pm, and didn't leave the golf course until 7:20 pm. We're talking a quarter of a mile, max. I just sat there, idling and watching in horror as the "miles to empty" readout began counting down from 44. Sure, I turned the engine off from time to time, but began panicking when I remembered reading once that starting an engine uses as much fuel as idling for 90 seconds. Long story short, I made it to a pump with 18 miles to go. Which is as close as I ever want to get. You?