There is a ride at Six Flags called the Monster Plantation. Most of you have probably ridden it, and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?? Run, be free. I’ll wait. And whatever anyone tells you, I am not scared of that ride. And if I was it would be a perfectly reasonable fear of the dark and weird, jerky puppets that sing to you without moving their mouths.
Aaaaaanyway, on that ride, you’re supposed to be on a nice, happy tour of the plantation when suddenly you see the “sheriff” of the town waving his arms at you, telling you to go to the right, not to the left! “Go bay-ack,” he says (he is supposed to be Southern, hence the two syllables for the word “back”), but since you have no control over the ride, you have no choice but to wave at him sadly and turn into the scary monster forest.
My dad loves the “go bay-ack” so much that it has become a staple in our household. Walk up and say that to any member of my family and they will know what you are talking about immediately. And my dad loves to say it when he thinks we’re about to do something dumb/have already done something dumb and are telling him about it/when he wants to go to Six Flags, so it always pops into my head when I make less than sound decisions. So, as I regale you with this tale of my bad decision-making skills, try to picture a big, furry monster puppet with a sheriff’s hat on and waving his arms at you to get the full effect, okay?
We recently bought a car back in May. Many of you have heard my adventures with the previous car, the Integra, and if you haven’t just picture me screaming for a long time and then something breaking off a car, and you’re basically caught up. But now I get to drive the new car! The new car and I get along very well, and the only major difference was that the gas light in the Integra (its one good quality being its infinite gas mileage), was more of a suggestion than a warning. And so far in the new Caliber, the few times the gas light had come on, I had gotten gas the same day and it wasn’t an issue.
This brings us to Thursday morning, a morning where I had a choice to make: stop and get gas, or stop and get Starbucks. I only had time for one. I chose Starbucks (cue the first Go Bay-ack), thinking I could just get gas on my lunch break. So I get my S’bucks, drive to work, and almost make it to the light when I notice the car is slowing down. Hmm. That probably isn’t normal. Now it’s slowing down a lot. Now the steering wheel isn’t so much with the turning. I manage to wrestle the car into the Zaxby’s parking lot next to my work, but I don’t make it into a parking space before the car shuts down completely. Oops.
Okay, no big deal – someone at Zaxby’s can probably help. I ran to the door and pulled on it – locked. They don’t open until 10:30. Go Bay-ack. Well, that’s okay. I can… um… I got nothin’. It’s also important to know this about me: I can do CPR, face blood and guts, and clean up vomit like a champion. But in situations that don’t allow me to use pre-arranged steps, I don’t think so good. So I run into work and see my boss in the hallway. Since I have sprinted there, I tell him in between breaths about the situation and that I planned on just walking to the nearby gas station, and I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I was a fast runner. Smooth. He pointed out that asking someone if they had a gas can might be a better first step. I asked a couple of people – no luck with the gas can. Go Bay-ack.
My friend LeeAnn kindly offered to drive me to the gas station, so off we went, me babbling the entire time about how this has never happened to me and I thought I had more gas and blah blee bloo blah. We get the gas can, fill it, and then come back to my car, still in the middle of the Zaxby’s parking lot. I noticed my hazard lights were no longer flashing, but I didn’t really care. Go Bay-ack. After a long time spent on trial and error, LeeAnn figures out how the little gas can works and I start to pour it into my car. Then I feel a little liquid on my leg and shoes. Either I’ve just added incontinence to my list of problems, or I’ve spilled gas on myself. It was the gas. Go Bay-ack. Erghhhhh. Fine. That’s fine. It’s all fine.
The gas finished… gassing, or whatever it does, so I get into the car to start it. I turn the key and am greeted with click click click click. The battery had died. In the five minutes it took me to run inside, get to the gas station, and fill up the car, the freaking battery had DIED. Go Bay-ack. I make the trek back to my work again. It actually wasn’t that far of a walk but it sounds more dramatic if I say “trek” instead of “quick jaunt.” My friend Gino offered to jump my battery, so off we go. The battery is jumped, the car is on, and the villagers were saved. As Gino is driving off, I looked at my dash just in time to see the little gas can light up, accompanied by the cheerful little Ding! that lets me know when I’m screwed. Of course. So I got more gas, and finally wandered into work sometime around 10 – just an hour late. Sheesh. The first thing several helpful people said to me was “Uh – you smell like gas.” I had forgotten that I’d spilled gas all over myself. Go Bay-ack.
I’m sure my coworkers were all very enthused about the prospect of spending an entire day trying to stay conscious, but unfortunately for them, I got sick, had to go home, and wasn’t able to come into work the next day, either. Nothing like an illness to really round off a crappy day, all before lunch time.
So, in conclusion: Don’t ignore the gas light, kids. And always Go Bay-ack.