I’m not fond of running out of fuel. On the face of things there should be no reason for me to fear such an event ever happening again, as after all I am a grownup, or at least my date of birth indicates that I should be.
However, I still find myself sailing rather too close to the wind, albeit mostly in my classic cars.
As I sit here in a warm kitchen in late May, avoiding the chill of a great British springtime, I am aware that across the way in the garage sit two cars, both of which see regular use and both of which have non-functioning fuel gauges. Now, I could fib and say that I note the odometer reading of each, every time I fill their tanks. But I don’t; I don’t even know how many miles to the gallon (that’s 4.55 litres youngsters) each of them achieves, which must say something for my financial security, but just goes to show that in reality I have my head in the clouds as much as I did when I was a teenager.
I know that I should get around to it - cue memories of my foster dad presenting me with ‘a round tuit’; a jokey card issued to Fort Dunlop employees in the mid-1970s, but as long as I fill each car’s tank before embarking on a journey or carry with me a bit of spare petrol in a can then surely all should be alright.
Again, this is where the non-factual meets the actual, as often I forget to do either and so ‘chance it’, my addled memory straining for slivers of forgotten information. ‘When did I last fill the tank… did I brim it, or did I lose patience with the constant cutting out of the supply from the pump due to the ancient design of the car’s filler neck and breather system?’
Today, apart from writing this, I have a clear diary today, but so many other things appeal. A spot of work on the model railway diorama (playing with a trainset for the uninitiated), a stroll out to a pub. They’ve only just re-opened and I should show my support, or perhaps even a flick round with a duster.
The truth is that I lost ‘the round tuit’ eons ago and, if I head over to the garage, I won’t get on with what I ought to be doing. No, I’ll be tempted to warm up the cars’ engines and perhaps have a spin around the block, maybe a tad further.
I will take a fuel can with me, though. Who knows, I might even get around to filling it.
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