Wednesday, January 05, 2011
is the tank half empty or half full...
I have this mate, a lovely guy but a bit of a know-it-all, who always thinks he’s right about things no matter how often they turn out differently to what he expected. Hey, no harm in that though; certainly beats having no opinion at all.
Anyway, he and I needed to drive up to Cunts Nest (220 kms away), ostensibly to deliver some furniture to the beach house, so he rented a mid-sized van for the job and we set off with a full load in the back and a full tank of petrol.
We got there without a hitch, dropped the furniture off and immediately headed back home again…
About two minutes into the return drive he said to me, ‘Hey, do you think we can get home on half a tank of petrol ??’
I looked at the gauge, which was almost perfectly lined up with the vertical line showing the tank was either half-full or half-empty depending on the way you look at life.
‘I doubt it, mate.’
‘Why not ??’
‘Well, everyone knows the second half of the tank always seems to empty faster than the first half…some design flaw in the ballast needle or something.’
‘But we had a full load of furniture coming up and we’re empty for the return trip so that should cancel it out.’
‘Well, I suppose it might…but what’s the point of trying anyway ??
‘It’d be an interesting exercise…plus I would only have to fill the tank once more before I return the van if we can make it.’
‘And you’re prepared to risk running out of petrol somewhere on the freeway outside Sydney in order to test your hypothesis ??’
‘We won’t run out !!!’
‘Why even risk it ??’
‘Coz it’d be kind of cool to do it.’
‘Mate…jumping The Grand Canyon in this van would be cool…running out of petrol in it on the freeway would be a pain in the ass.’
‘No…fill the fucking tank up at the next station, you cunt.’
‘No, I want to see how far we can go…’
Now, at this point I should tell you something about my mate. Apart from being the most indomitable optimist I have ever met, he has a rather acute case of OCD with respect to certain things. He loves order…especially mathematical order. On the drive up he maintained a steady speed of 120 kph while in the 110 kph zone. I asked him why and he said the speed cameras were set with a 10% margin of latitude so that he was fine at this speed. The real reason he likes travelling at that speed is that it’s exactly two kilometers per minute and he can mentally compute his estimated time of arrival at a certain point much easier. Some people might call him ‘anal’, however I’ve never really understood the connection between the compulsive need for neatness and order…and the rather peculiar habit of storing things in your ass. So, I prefer to think of him as just a plain nutbag.
He's a cross between Biggles and your grandfather. Probably inventing some mythical boy's own adventure to replace the sheer mundaneness of this exercise, in which he's just bombed Berlin to smithereens in his Sopwith Camel and is scurrying back to England on half a tank of fuel with the entire Luftwaffe on his tail.
And I suppose part of me looked forward to the satisfaction of us running dry, so I could say 'Told you so,' and then have a two hour nap in the van while he flagged down a car and hitchiked to the nearest servo for a few litres of petrol, although I'm not sure it would have outweighed the aggravation of having to have a two hour nap in the van while he flagged down a car and hitchiked to the nearest servo for a few litres of petrol...
You see I figure life's too long to make it any more difficult that it needs to be !!!
‘Mate, please pull into the next servo and fill the fucking tank…I am not going to get stranded on the freeway because you see this as a major challenge.’
‘We can make it.’ He's Kramer in the episode where Jerry is thinking of buying the new Saab.
‘I don’t care about it enough to try.’
‘Well I do.’
‘Well you’re a cunt and I can see why your wife left you. I’d leave you right now if I had another way of getting home…’
To be cont’d very soon…