Monday, September 22, 2008

Gas Frenzy And The Good Samaritan

Hello, it's me again. Last weekend, the Nashville region experienced a gas shortage due to the pipelines from Texas being down as a result of Hurricane Ike. There were lines all across the city with 10's of hundreds of cars waiting to get their precious gas. I was hoping we could avoid them. Unfortunately, on Saturday, we were very close to empty on our mini-van. So, we tried to find the shortest line for gas we could find in Cool Springs on a Saturday afternoon.

By 3:30pm, we had found our spot. The Shell station off of Moores Lane and Mallory Lane. We squeezed into a spot. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We noticed a larger gas truck had pulled up and was unloading gasoline in the station. That seemed hopeful, since most other stations had run out of gas. We knew if we waited long enough, the gas would be delivered. Now, it was just a matter of how long do we wait.

Ericdirectingtraffic_4After about 15 minutes of waiting, I couldn't stand it any longer. I decided to take charge. I got out of the car, Krissy took over the drivers seat, and asked some questions of the gas station. Meanwhile, I noticed the line for gas had extended all the way towards the I-65/Moore's Lane exit (about 500 yards from the station). The gas station worker informed me that they were going to begin opening up the pumps one at a time in about 10 minutes. This was hopeful news.

As I returned back to the minivan I thought this was something I should share with the rest of the cars waiting in line - now a bit impatiently. So, one by one, I began informing everyone of the news. Every car seemed very appreciative. And I was starting to like my role as the good samaritan. So, after I informed about 20 cars, I returned back to the gas station and started sorting out who was going to go to which pump. In essence, I was directing traffic.

The pumps started opening up - one by one. Soon, after about 20 minutes, the line started to move. People were trying to cut in line and my job was to stop them and make them get into the back of the line. I was amazed at my boldness with these people. These people didn't like me very much. There was one guy who tricked me and told me he just wanted a soda. Later on, I would see him get gas at the pump after pretending to get soda. He had a big black Hummer gas guzzler. Shame on him. I promptly told him that he lied to me and yelled at him. He was embarrassed and making some excuse that he wasn't from here - he was from Texas. As if that would make me feel better about him cutting in line in front of hundreds of patient drivers.

One lady in line a few cars behind me was taking pictures of people trying to cut in line with her cel phone and threatening to report them to the police. She was mad!

Ericdirectingtraffic2_2As the cars started moving and I was directing them to the best pump for quickest service, each driver would smile, wave to me. One of the ladies drove past me and said "I Love You!". I had to laugh.

The lady taking pictures of everyone and making threats to cars cutting in line, she thanked me later and shouted as she drove past. "You are our good samaritan!".

I was loving my new role as hero. I felt like I was being used to help the situation. After all, I'm type-A and I couldn't just sit around and do nothing. Atleast I was out and about - doing something.

Meanwhile, my best friend from college, Don, shows up randomly and starts taking pictures of all of this. The boys love Don and he kept them having fun while they waited.

Krissy, my loving wife, of course, is making fun of me the whole time. She knows this is typical me. She is cracking up that I'm directing traffic and keeping things in order by kicking people out of line.

Well, we finally get to the pump and I join the family and help pump the gas. The kids are sick of me being gone. Kaden is crying because he is worried about me being out there. He just wants his daddy back. I get back, assure him that everything is okay, and pump gas. We finally get out of there at 6pm.

2 and 1/2 hours at the gas station. Atleast I wasn't just sitting there. I was doing something and felt really good. After all, I was the good samaritan.

1 comment:

  1. Great story Eric! Good for you and your boldness, I found myself just avoiding gas stations as much as possible over the last few weeks. There were some fights and lots of high tempers out there. Glad you were able to be involved and help in some way!