1. Not that I base this on any data nor statistics but I do feel that 70% of us had had an experience running out of gas, or almost out of it. And I don’t mean just cars; it would include any vehicle such as motorbike, bus, boat, bus or lorry.
2. This subject came to my mind because the other night, as I was driving my daughter in my MPV (multi-purpose van, and it’s not a Hummer) to her school annual dinner, I noticed once again the ‘Gas Tank Empty’ warning lamp was blinking no more; it was lighted up continuously.
“Once again” because I had actually already seen the blinking since mid-morning. And I had told myself, Okay, I’d fill it up later. But I didn’t – morning changed to afternoon, and afternoon turned into evening. Now in my MPV’s case, continuous lighting of the fuel warning light would mean it could go for another 50km, max. Or maybe just another 30km (I’m not sure; I have never done any test). So after I dropped my daughter off, I drove the vehicle ever so slowly to the nearest gas station, and it was raining very heavily. Panic was slowly beginning to creep in; all I could do was praying “please God, don’t let the gas run out at least until I have reached the station”.
3. Many years ago I had gone through a similar (bad) experience. When it was also raining heavily then. I had just fetched my wife from her office, we were going home, but not two kilometres later, the engine died off. I knew then the gas was empty because I had the warning light telling me so since early morning. We both stepped out of the car into a rushing ankle-deep water, not really knowing what to do. We just kind of stood by the roadside, soaked to the skin.
4. Among all the traffic that splashed by, there was this guy on a motorbike who stopped to enquire our trouble, asked me to get on his bike to the nearest gas station, purchased a bottle of gas, and sent me back to my car and wife (she was back in the car). I was really grateful to the guy who refused to give his name and where he was staying (“I help you purely out of sincerity”).
5. Since that incident, my wife will never allow her car’s tank to drop below half-a-tank. She will even be very restless (stressful?) when, at times, the tank is at one quarter. It will be filled up to the brim very soon after.
6. Me? Sometimes I never learn. Even though I know it’s a risky thing to do. What if there is an emergency in the middle of the night? For example, a family member fall very, very sick and needs to be brought to the hospital but the tank is empty?
ps: That night? I did reach the gas station, thank God. The tank was filled to the brim.