Gas guzzler

Earlier today I ran out of gas 15 meters away from a Shell gas station along Alabang-Zapote road. It was one of my better gas guzzling experiences. In fact, it only reminded me of the fact that I have a pending post idea that should have been published a week ago. I already have two simot-sarap gas experiences this year. Last year I had three.

My 1999 Nissan Frontier, which I have spent an undisclosed six-digit amount on parts and pimpage over the last three years, has a broken gas gauge. Luckily, I consistently run out of gas inside the village, except for today. Still, I consider myself lucky that I am within the vicinity of my city, apart from being 15 meters away from a gas station. Normally, the first order of things is to call home and find out if there is someone who can pick me up, bring me to a gas station, and come back for my ride. That role usually belongs to my ever-so-bugged mum. The most memorable simot-sarap gas experience I had last year happened on the eve of my birthday.

Back to what happened last week; Sunday, circa 6:00 p.m. My uncle leaves his beater Kia Pride, also with a broken gas gauge, with me whenever him, my mum and my lola go out of town. As a tribute to my uncle, we will code-name his Kia Pride “Lamborkhia.” I’m free to use Lamborkhia to my heart’s desire, since one of the perils of my car-pimpage insanity is not having a dependable ride on long trips.

I went to Merville to check out a motorcycle. I deemed Sunday to be the perfect day because of light traffic. I filled Lamborkhia up with the usual Php 100, since I still had some leftover from my last joyride. Anyway, the motorcycle (at Merville) sucked, so I disappointedly hurried home. Come Sucat exit, I felt a very familiar, but very undesirable, tone from Lamborkhia. First comes the engine shake, as if palyado, followed by silence, then the pure sound of tires rolling powerless over the road. I might have moved about 700 meters more from the exact point I ran out of gas since I was cruising at about 100 km/h (post-incident jokes include: “Nakapag-overtake pa nga ako eh!”).

I was able to make it to the rightmost lane safely. I know my uncle leaves a spare liter of gas in the trunk. No luck. Not five minutes have passed (impressive) when a highway patrol who seemed to have come from nowhere approached me. “Boss, ano problema?” “Sir, naubusan lang ng gas.” “Ah, may Shell dyan sa service road. Malapit lang. Lakad ka hanggang dun sa tapat tapos sut-sutan mo lang yung gas boy.” I had Php 40 left in my wallet and Php 15 in coins, just enough for toll, but not enough for a liter. It would have been the perfect climax to my story, but unfortunately (?), I brought some credit cards.

Walking along the highway is very disturbing and unpleasing. You can’t help but think that you might be invisible to the cars zooming by, let alone the possibility of a freak accident happening on your exact same spot.

When I was around 10 years old, my uncle, who ironically would-be the future owner of Lamborkhia, picked me up from school with his then beater, but I would rather much prefer, Volkswagen Beetle. We ran out of gas in between Alabang and Sucat (northbound). He said he’d be back in no time, and was just going to look for the nearest gas station. Back then I figured it was scarier to be left alone in a car in the middle of the highway. Boy, was I wrong. Our adventure included crossing over six lanes (northbound and southbound) of the highway, going out the toll, finding the nearest (but far) gas station along Sucat road, and back. Phew, me and my gas stories…

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