Screenshot: Titanic
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

I don’t know if you know this, but people are goofy! We show our asses constantly. The only way to feel better about this is to laugh it off. Which is what we’re going to do this week.

You guys are lucky because the majority of you are using Kinja handles. You are Strangers On The Internet. You can tell whatever humiliating story you want and chances are it won’t find its way back to you. I, on the other hand, am using my legal name. But that’s okay, I’ll take one for the team and tell you about this time I was colossally embarrassed in my car.


I grew up in the great state of New Jersey, where we don’t pump our own gas (WE PUMP OUR FISTS). When I got my license after I turned 17, I drove myself out of state for the first time. Not far, just to Pennsylvania.

Everything was going fine until I noticed that the fuel was getting a bit low, so I pulled into a gas station off the highway—and that’s when I realized that I didn’t have the slightest idea how to pump my own gas. Someone else had always done it for me, and when I was on family road trips in other parts of the country, filling up the gas was always my dad’s job.

I managed to get the gas cap open and then just stood there, not knowing what to do next, panic blossoming in my chest. Out of desperation, I asked a fellow motorist for help, haphazardly explaining that I didn’t know how to pump my own gas because I was from New Jersey.

He showed me how to use the nozzle and told me I had to go pay cash inside, since the card reader wasn’t working. Inside? What did that mean? Oh, you could do that?


I hurried over to the cashier, forgetting to lock my car and leaving all of my valuables in the front seat. He asked me what pump I was at. What pump? Pumps have numbers? I just pointed at my car. “The black SUV there,” I said.

Finally, finally, I got everything sorted out and stuck the nozzle in the car and pulled the trigger. I guess I also managed to get the nozzle back out without spilling gas all over myself, but I honestly can’t remember because I’ve done my best to block this painful memory since it happened.


But I can tell you this: Every time I fill up my gas now, I still get a little thrill from being able to do it correctly.

Anyway, tell me your embarrassing stories. No one else has to know, just you and me. They’ll be our secret.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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