Thursday, February 12, 2009

I broke the law today.
(unintentionally and definitely not on purpose.)

I filled up my big van with gas on Saturday night. We drove to church on Sunday, and we haven't been anywhere in the car since. My kids are off track so I haven't needed to go anywhere. I loaded the kids up this morning to go get some groceries and to check out some dryers and when I turned on the car it beeped at me. I looked down to see that the thing said "low fuel" and the light was on and the gas gauge was pointing to the big E. I thought, "That can't be right. I just filled it up to the top on Saturday and I haven't been anywhere since then." I usually have to fill it up every three or four weeks depending on how much driving is going on. I turned the car off and then back on. It beeped at me again. I turned it off then back on. It beeped again. I turned it off, back on, then hit the dashboard thinking that maybe the arrow was stuck or something. Everything remained the same. I turned it off and went back in the house and called Mike. I explained to him what was happening. He said, "Sounds like someone siphoned out the gas. You better call the police and report it. Not that they can do anything, but they should know." So, I called. They had me fill out a police report over the phone. You know, when did you notice the gas was gone? Where did you fill it up and when? How much? Where has the car been since you filled it up? What is your address, birthday, spelling of your name? etc. Then the officer said that he couldn't do much about it but file the claim. Then if it started to happen to others maybe they could catch whoever it was and we might get restitution. But, have a nice day!
I got the kids back into the car and went for the groceries. We stopped at the gas station on the way, because, you know, we were out of gas. I proceeded to put gas in the car, but the pump kept clicking off. I only put in a few dollars, thinking that there was something wrong with the pump. When I started the car again, the gauge said it was full. After getting some groceries, I stopped at Auto Zone because Mike wanted me to buy a locking gas cap for the van. The guy there said they didn't sell them for big ugly red vans and I would have to get one from a dealership probably. He asked why I wanted one and after I explained the situation, he said that it sounded like I needed a check with his little machine. He brought it out to the car and it said that my fuel indicator doohickie thingamabob is broken. They conveniently sell them there for about $180.00, but I would have to find someone to install it. I said that I'm pretty handy, could I do it? "Yes," said the man, "you would have to remove the fuel tank and get under there with a flashlight...". "Nevermind," I said, and I thanked him and went home.
I was totally bummed. Maybe Heavenly Father doesn't want us to finish the basement. Maybe there are some valuable lessons that we need to learn first. Maybe we'll spend all the tax refund on a new fuel thingamabob and a new dryer and I'll keep putting all my change in the jar and eventually someday in the future we can finish the basement and move the baby out of our bedroom. Maybe he'll be a teenager by then.
Anyway, I decided that on the way home I better stop by the police station and tell them that I'm a dork and I didn't really get all the gas in my car stolen. I thought that I should probably let them know. We walked in and told the receptionist that I filed a police report that morning about my gas being stolen. She looked at me and said,"are you Michelle?" I said yes and she told me that she would have to call the chief of police. She sits behind a piece of thick glass and talks to you through an intercom. After she pushed the button to turn the intercom off, she made the call. I could see her laughing as she explained the situation. I don't blame her. I was laughing a little too. She told me that they would just take care of it, it is something that happens occasionally, and I won't be in trouble for filing a false police report. I think they decided that they would "take care of it" because they knew that if they arrested me that I would have to bring all my kids with me to jail, and they didn't want to have to put up with that. Could you imagine me and six kids in an eight by ten cell with maybe three other inmates? What a circus that would be! Ha!
I called Mike again when we got home. He said something that sounded like the angels singing. He said, (are you ready?) "Good thing the car is still under warranty and we won't have to pay a thing to get it fixed!" LA! What a lovely man I have to take care of me! I never would have thought of that! He even called the fix-it place, made an appointment that was convenient for me (well, as convenient as could be), and arranged for their shuttle to take me and by brood to my Mom's house to hang out for a few hours until it's fixed. WhooHoo!

Now if I could just figure out how to convince someone that my dryer is still under warranty.


sara said...

what a fiasco! i am so glad it is under warranty still. money (or the lack thereof) is the bane of my existence.

Angie said...

That was funny. I'm glad your van is under warranty, and I'm so glad you didn't get arrested, although I know you've secretly always wanted to get arrested!

Kati said...

Man...when it rains, it certainly pours! You will get your basement finished. Everything will work out for the best, I am sure of it.