Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stupid Things I Did as a "Kid"

Many many years ago, just a few weeks after the Dark Ages, I got busted for syphoning gas. Okay, not exactly busted and it wasn't me per se, but I was with people who did get caught.

A simple comment today caused this event to jump out of the deep dark recesses and into the forefront of my mind where it sought to be shared with you.

In my teens I was part of the cruiser crowd. Very American Graffiti-esque. Hang out downtown at the local drive-in, wait for other cruisers to show up and hop into someone else's car and drive around some more. Usually there were a few brews involved.

One night a girlfriend and I hopped in with a couple of guys we knew. We drove around a while until the driver noticed the car was very low on gas. This was a time of gas shortages, gas rationing and long long lines at the pumps. In some cases we could only buy gas on odd or even days, depending on - - - something. Well it was decided this night we would "borrow" some gas from another vehicle.

I think we first pulled up to a car on a dark road where the guys started the process of "borrowing" gas, but we were scared off by traffic. It was many years ago and that part of the story may or may not have actually happened, the brain sometimes fails me.

What did happen was we ended up in a commercial warehouse section of town in which the gates were not locked to the lot. We cozied up to a large truck, making sure it was gas powered and not diesel powered and the guys threaded the hose from the truck to the car and let the gas run. The boys got back in the car to wait. Unfortunately, when syphoning gas from one vehicle to another there is not a click off switch and the gas will overflow the tank if not stopped when full. We suddenly realized this and only a small amount of gas was on the ground when they stopped the syphon.

One of the boys thought it might be a good idea to stay parked there for a little while, but it wasn't. Within minutes we noticed the headlights of a patrol car slowly moving toward us. Uh oh - time for an alibi! So of course the only reasonable explanation for our location was that we stopped there to make out. What to do to make it believable? BREATHE! Our windows needed to be fogged up as if we'd been kissing hot & heavy for a while and they were not. Picture this, two guys and two girls huffing on the windows to fog them up because we weren't doing what we wanted it to look like we were doing. Breathe guys, faster - pant, Pant, PANT!!!

Soon the patrol car was parked beside us and a police officer was was walking around the car, sniffing the scent of gasoline from the air and shining his flashlight on the gas soaked pavement between us and the truck. Our feeble excuse was hardly to be believed and I don't recall why that officer sent us on our way. The truth was there to be seen despite our objections.

Although the gas wasn't for my car and I didn't do the actual dirty deed, I can say I have never considered "borrowing" gas again, which was around 75-80 cents a gallon at that time, can you imagine?

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