Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Gas Station

Peter did not always play car wash, on a rare occasion, that would be a one time rare occasion, Peter decided to play gas station. Imagine yourself on a beautiful sunny summer day, a kind of day that is perfect for spending in the yard, picking or cleaning or maintaining the yard, surrounded by your family happily occupying themselves with either helping you, or just being entertained by themselves. A day to accomplish much needed yard work, surrounded by your loved ones, Perfect..sunny..warm..fuzzy! Feel it?
It was of course on this day, that we used the ASSUME know that know the one I tell my student's never assume because if you take apart the get the meaning. So assuming we did. I assumed some family member was either playing or watching Peter, and others in the group also made that same assumption. It was the perfect family bonding afternoon, so someone had to be in charge. Assuming away, and thinking Peter was playing car wash on Sara's old car, so we were not concerned about the pounds of soap that he would apply, we went about our business. After awhile, I decided that I really needed to check on whoever was watching Peter, so I headed to the front of the house. There I found Peter, contently playing a new game called gas station. You see, when one plays gas station one takes the garden hose, turns if on, and then puts it into the gas tank of his sister's car. Filling it up...just like in the old days, full service, what more could you ask. Gasping, hoping it wasn't true, that sinking feeling that I had previously experienced related to Peter's activities, the inner voice that wanted to scream "PETER" all gathered within my spirit. I cannot believe this is happening. Just when I think that Peter has done everything imaginable on earth, he comes up with a new activity!
Immediately, I ran and turned off the water and tried to explain to Peter that was really not a good idea. Peter, in his innocence, really did not understand and was just playing, staying busy. Realizing the damage was done, I called several gas stations and asked for advice. I have to admit I do not know anyone who ever had their gas tank purposely filled with water. But, now I can tell you what you do when that happens.
The rest of that perfect day was spent observing Sara's car lifted carefully on a tow truck. Did you know that you cannot turn on the car once the water has been infused. The junker than spent the week drying out at the local gas station and could be retrieved only after the tank had been removed, dried, and reinserted. The cost equivalent to the price of the car itself.
The silver lining...always found it important to find the silver lining in these meaningful events. At least we knew there was water in the gas tank, as the damage would have been horrific had she turned on the car...and we probably would not have realized the cause.
I am thinking that my sheer look of terror when I saw this event occurring made an impression on Peter. He must have learned that day never to play gas station again, as this scene was not repeated. The calm hysteria that occurred following the discovery must have sent a message somewhere to his head. And we, held a small gathering, the neighbors coming to view the car removal, and we explaining oh it was just Peter....and they smiling, telling me I should write a book...that day, I could only think of the check I would be writing! Some day, a tale to be told....

1 comment:

  1. hahaha...I have been waiting for that one. $500 for that gas tank!