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On our recent drive to Rhode Island, the gas gauge hit empty.

And then we drove 38 more miles without ever seeing another gas station.

If you think waterboarding is a form of torture, you should have watched my husband’s face during that 38 miles.

I really wasn’t concerned at all.  I told Rick that when the gas gauge dips to empty, you really have 50 more miles worth of gas.

Honestly, I think I probably made that up. But that’s my rule of thumb.

You see, my husband grew up in New Jersey where for some reason it’s illegal to pump your own gas. I think it’s called the, “I’m Too Damn Lazy To Get Out of My Car” legislation.

But I, on the other hand, grew up in hard core Connecticut, where you often have to pump it yourself. That’s why Connecticut folk are used to driving as far as possible without actually stopping. It’s called the, “I’m Not Stopping For Gas Because It’s Too Cold or Too Hot Outside and I Don’t Want To Get Out of My Car” mentality.

As a result, I know you can drive really far on empty. So I wasn’t worried. At all.

But my cushy Jersey husband was stressing.

“Why are there no gas stations in Rhode Island?!!” he kept shouting out.

“I don’t know. But on the upside, they have lots of fried clams,” I responded.  He surprisingly did not find this very helpful.

We finally found a gas station.

Which judging from the prices it was advertising was last open during the great depression.

“Why would a gas station look open if it’s closed?” My husband yelled out.

“I don’t know. But man, do I love fried clams.”

We finally finally found a gas station. That was actually open.

A really shame. Because we could have squeezed 12 more miles out that gas tank. I just know it.

22 Responses to we really need gas

  • Sam says:

    I’m with your husband, I’d be stressed! My husband, who is a mechanic, SWEARS that once the gas light comes on you have three more gallons of gas left. However, I will never forget the time he drove my car, told me I had plenty of gas, and somehow I ended up on the shoulder of the busiest highway in central Indiana with no gas.

    And PS, I haven’t seen a gas station that pumps your gas in years and years – Rick may want to stay away from the midwest. 🙂

  • Gcape says:

    Jersey guy here too but now a Massachusetts guy. Now I pump my own gas and wish Jersey allowed it. They call it Full Service in Jersey. You kidding me? What Full Service?
    Love the blog!

  • red pen mama says:

    I call this “gas tank chicken”. My husband is an expert at it, although I can remember two times he’s actually lost. We live in Pennsylvania, and (hyperbole alert) I’m pretty sure it’s illegal for gas stations to offer a full service island.

  • Meg D says:

    Isn’t the whole NJ gas thing weird? I grew up there and even at 43 I am not confident of pumping my own gas. I think it’s like coffee, just much better when someone else takes care of it for me!

  • daphne says:

    We just broke out the owners manual (lots of time on cross-country drive) and read officially that you have 50 miles once light comes on. Well deduced, Kelcey.

  • Sandy says:

    It’s the insurance regulations in NJ that make it illegal to pump your own gas. I grew up there but learned to pump my own gas during college in PA and have lived in MD for the past 19 years. I pump my own gas without complaint but it irks me that when I go visit my father I can sit comfortably inside my car and pay less per gallon than I pay to get out of my car in driving rain or extreme heat here in MD.

    And my father, who has lived his whole life in NJ, taught me to fill up with my gauge hits half, so I would have been panicking right along with Rick!

  • I can’t believe you didn’t harness all of the potential gas-related humor that a family with four young children could produce for this post. You are much stronger than I am. And, classier.

  • Mel says:

    This is so true! Every time my husband gets in my car he half-panics because my “gas is too low”. Pishaw! I agree with your 50 miles rule.

  • Mary says:

    You’re like my husband and I’m like yours. I stress when we are near empty and my husband loves to go as far as he can. What happens is he brings the car home on empty, I have to use it in the morning and it seems to end up that it’s always me filling the tank. Something I hate doing.

  • Leigh Ann says:

    I was so low on oil once and had to drive about an hour and a half from a work meeting in another city back to my home in Austin. It was so cold that I didn’t’ want to stop — I knew I could make it! And I did. To the very southern city limit of Austin before it died just as I rolled into a gas station. It was no more.

    But I finally got to get the Jetta I’d been eying!

  • Steph says:

    Too funny! it reminds me of a Seinfeld episode when Kramer wants to see how far they can make it on empty.

  • Missy says:

    My sister perfected the art of driving on “fumes” in high school and every time I would get in the car it would be on empty because she had driven it down to its very last drop but had still managed to get it home.

    I grew up in California where you have a choice of pump your own or not. It’s like learning to drive stick shift. Such a good thing to know how to do. But, at the right station, full serve really is the best – sometimes they even wash your windows!

  • Lanie says:

    So glad you did not run out of gas. I just had a flat tire with the twins in the car. The side of the highway with small kids is not where you want to be. xoxo

  • Betsy says:

    I have never had gas pumped for me-ever. My car tells me how many miles I can drive before I run out of gas. I realize it is probably an estimate, but I was really nervous when the gauge told me I had 2 miles left to go as I pulled into the station. I HATE driving when the gas light is on.
    They do have a handicap assist button at most of the stations. I assume they are for real, but have never seen one in action.

kelcey kintner