This past weekend, we drove all the way up to Burlington, Vermont, to spend time with my cousin and her husband, son, dog and two cats (which stayed in the basement, because we're allergic, but we did play some games of bat the organic cocoa puff from under the door.) We also attended some good friends' wedding in Stowe, calling on J and M to babysit the evil monkey so she wouldn't drown in the pond behind the chuppah. We set off on Thursday, leaving late because Dr. B had some REALLY IMPORTANT MEETINGS (read: ones he regretted not rescheduling) and because he hadn't packed anything so had to when he got home. I spent the morning taking the dog to the kennel, packing mine and Rowan's things, and making sandwiches to tuck into the mini-fridge Dr. B got for his birthday from my Dad and his wife. It plugs into the car cigarette lighter (do they still call them that? I don't think ours even has a lighter.) I also tossed in string cheese and apples, and nearly used up everything spoilable in the fridge. I was pretty proud of myself.
By the time we got going for the 8 1/2 hour drive, it was after 2. I wasn't very happy about that, but chose to keep quiet while he decompressed after a stressful morning. We stopped to fill our tank somewhere before Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. (Did you know it's pronounced "Berry"? I didn't. You learn something new every day.) We pulled into the very busy station, and I opened the tank door.
And it didn't open.
And I tried again. And again. And again.
Then we tried opening it by hand. And using my library card. And even the edge of my key, until I was worried I'd scratch the car. No deal.
There we were, in Bufuegypt, PA, and we were out of gas and couldn't fill our tank. I asked the women inside what to do, and they spent about 5 minutes going back and forth discussing who I should call. Finally, after hunting for a piece of paper and pen for another 2 minutes, they gave me a phone number. "Where are they located?" I asked. "Oh, they're right across the street." I rolled my eyes, and got back in the car to drive across the street. (I had enough gas for that. And I won't even mention how many teeth each of the women had, but let's just say I had more than both put together. Ah, central Pennsyltucky.)
Dr. B was busy changing Rowan when I got to the car, because OF COURSE, there were no changing tables in the men's room. He tossed my jacket aside, and attempted to hold down the monster, who had lots of energy after sitting in her seat for a few hours. We were helped by the mechanic, who untwisted the thingee through a panel in the trunk (and it wasn't my fault, BTW, there weren't even suitcases near it.) We filled up at his station, and went on our way.
"Now, when is the other shoe going to drop," said Dr. B as he drove in the rush-hour Scranton traffic, "because you know it will." (doom gloom doom gloom doom gloom) "It's just a matter of time."
A few minutes later...
"Do you smell that? The smoke? Is that inside or outside our car?" he said.
I looked around and couldn't see anything outside, but it was getting worse. Then I turned around.
"AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! Stop the car! STOP THE CAR! Something's on FIRE!!!"
Remember that jacket? Yeah. Lesson #1: do NOT drape a jacket over the fan for the little plug in fridge, and forget to put it back on the car seat. Luckily, where there was smoke, there was no fire.
But Dr. B is still waiting for the third shoe...