I simply cannot explain it in technical terms but there is something about the human mind that when confronted with a low fuel level light in a car makes it think, “Of course it can wait a while.”
The sane among us make that mistake only once to learn the lesson. Those who’ve voluntarily undertaken this adventure more than once deserve not a mere blog mention but an entire chapter in what I am sure will be an award-winning novel.
I was driving back home from a business trip a few days ago in my personal car when the low level fuel light comes on. 30 miles left to empty given a fuel efficiency of 35.7 miles per gallon. I am rather proud of that number. It took some effort to reach it. I began at 20 miles per gallon 4 years ago.
I was confident that a fuel station would definitely be available after those 5 songs that I love in succession (recorded on my USB drive) were finished playing. I had another 2 hours to drive before I would reach home and it was dusk already. I should mention here that the remaining stretch of highway isn’t in the most populated section of the great state of Louisiana.
My pulse rate was perfectly normal even as that number slid down to 22 miles to empty at which time the fifth song that I simply had to listen to for the thousandth time came on. Another 9 miles disappeared into oblivion as I sang along in exemplary discordance.
Then a monstrously thick traffic jam materialized out of thin air without warning.
After 45 minutes of watching pedestrians flash past my car at breakneck speeds greater than 3 miles per hour, an obscure exit ramp offered itself to me. I finally yielded to the game of chicken with the fuel gauge and found a fuel station nearby that sold what I am sure was the world’s most expensive gasoline.
The gauge showed 2 miles to empty…given a fuel efficiency of 35.8 miles per gallon. Did I mention how proud I am of that number?