So, the dreaded moment had arrived and I was on my own to face up to the challenge. My car wasn’t going to go one more mile without a much-needed refill of petrol, and I was going to have to do it alone.
I nervously pulled into the first filling station I saw. I simply can’t get my head around the idea of shopping around for petrol, so always forget, and hoped that the £1.39 a litre (whatever happened to gallons?) was an acceptable price to pay. Forget affordability, that didn’t even factor into it.
I hopped out of the car determined to rise to the occasion and fill the tank with aplomb when I noticed the little door for the petrol was on the other side of the car. Undeterred, I got back in the car and pulled around to the other side of the pump. I hopped out again and poked the little door hoping something might happen. Nothing did. I poked it a little harder. Still nothing.
Ok, next move. I looked around the forecourt for inspiration… zip.
I got back into the car to check the handbook hoping to find a mention of the little door that would herald the location of the locking mechanism. I found a reference and saw I needed to find a little lever with a picture of a pump on it. A clue to its location would have been helpful, but no clues were given. On my hands and knees, I hunted around the floor and under the dash looking for the little lever that opens the little door.
After much searching, I eventually found the lever and triumphantly pulled it and the little door sprung obediently open! I removed the petrol cap, grabbed the trigger of the petrol pump and looked up at the pump expectantly. Nothing happened. The gauge didn’t reset to zero. I shook it around a bit and then shook again. Still nothing.
I shoved it into the hole in the car and pulled the trigger. Still nothing happened. A man peered curiously around the pump, asking, “Is there a problem?” I advised him of my dilemma only to be told that the yellow tag on the trigger was not for decoration, it was, in fact, an indication that the pump is out of order!
Back in the car and drove around to the next pump… carefully repeated the same steps and almost wept with relief when the pump reset and the petrol gushed alarmingly into the fuel tank. Carefully filling the car, I replaced the fuel cap, closed the little door, checked the pump number and went into the shop to pay, feeling quietly triumphant that I had succeeded in my quest.
Luckily, it’s a couple more days before a repeat is required and I have time to dream nightly of the intricate steps I need to follow so that they are fully committed to memory by the time they are next required.
What with getting my head around the parking machines and one-way carparks, roundabouts with traffic lights enlivening them, never mind whole buildings, and cleaning your own windscreen too, there’s a lot going on.
Tomorrow’s challenge? Put air in the tyres!