I have been looking forward to today all month even though I hadn't thought of a story to share. It is Storytelling Sunday over at From High In The Sky and this year I am joining in. While I will happily sit and write a bit of fiction for fun, a true story that I deem worthy of writing down often eludes me. In those cases I am more of a verbal storyteller complete with expressions, actions and sound effects. So on Friday night while catching up with crafting friends over a glass of wine, tales of past adventures whirled around us causing peels of laughter and the odd tear or two. And now I am going to attempt to retell the story without expressions, actions and sound effects :-)
Many years ago when The Extrovert and The Thinker were small we were a one car family. For the most part this was fine as we lived in the suburbs of a not so large city and I was happy to catch the bus or walk. But every now and again there were appointments or social gatherings that required the use of a car. On those occasions I would drive The LOML to work, use the car for the day, and then collect him when he finished. Now if he had a 'normal' job this would have been very straight forward, but he worked shifts that changed constantly.
I am one who likes my sleep, I still rise early-ish but I am the kind of person who likes to sleep till the last minute possible. I do not use the 'snooze button' as that would disturb those last few precious moments of sleep. So on his early morning shifts we would have to leave the house at 4:30am. The LOML would have been up since 4am getting ready and he would wake me up at 4:25am to leave. We would put both sleeping boys in the car and I would hop in and wake up on the half hour drive, drop him off, and then slide into the drivers seat for the drive home. Once home, I would carry both semi-awake boys into the house and put them into bed with me, and we would all sleep for about another hour or so. This routine seems simple enough, and you might be wondering where the story is? But I left out one important detail ... I never got dressed for those morning drives. I got up, ran a brush through my hair and got into the car in my nightie, which just happened to be short and satin (it was summer and very hot!).
I couldn't see any problems with this routine. We had a well maintained car, it was ludicrously early in the morning, and we were driving out past the edge of the suburbs. It worked every time until the one day when we were running a little late for work and The LOML said "Oops, we are running low on fuel."! There was only one lone early morning petrol station on the drive to work but HE wouldn't stop on the way to work as we were running late (I don't see why as he was the boss!), and with a typical she'll be right attitude told me to just stop and get it on the way home ... dressed just in a nightie! Oh, but the indignity didn't stop there.
50m from the petrol station, on a empty main road, I ran out of gas!!!!!!!!! The sun was just starting to rise and the street lights were going off one by one. In another half an hour that road would be a major highway packed with cars on their way to work. There was nothing to do except get out the stroller and put one sleeping child in there and carry the other, and walk to the petrol station. In my short satin nightie and bare feet. Little did I know that the most embarrassing part of this story was yet to come.
I can only imaging what a strange sight I must have been walking down the road. As I walked into the car park I was met with what must have been EVERY local on-duty policeman having breakfast. They were leaning on their cars enjoying a morning pie and coffee and not one of them batted an eyelid or said anything as I walked past ... barefoot and in a nightie, with two toddlers. Well they must have been used to seeing strange sights in the morning for this one to not cause a stir! The attendant very kindly filled up a jerry can for me and to his credit he didn't say anything, but you could see the sides of his mouth twitching every now and again. I have worked shifts in fast food restaurants and have seen many strange things in the wee hours of the morning, perhaps I even made his list of crazy morning sights!
Walking back past the policemen with a jerry can in tow I was starting to get angry, surely it was obvious that I had run out of fuel. Why couldn't one of them offer to help a damsel in distress? But I bit my tongue. A ranting lunatic in a nightie would probably be arrested! I walked back to my car, and after getting it started once again, drove into the petrol station. Filled the car up properly and drove home having learnt a very valuable lesson. BE PREPARED! Don't ever leave the house without clothes!!!! And I never have again. At the very least I put on my robe :-)
If you enjoyed this there are plenty more where that came from over at Sian's, so head on over and have a read.