Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Running out of gas

My title could be metaphorical, what with the three children and teaching job and cats and house that is sort of not falling apart except you could probably see the mess in our front room from Google Maps if it's been updated recently (don't check!), but this is a literal running out of gas. Let me tell you what happened a few days ago...

It all started when I was taking my five-year-old to Kindergarten. We were having the usual conversation ("Can I play games after school?" "No." "Can I stay home from school?" "No." "Whhhyyy?" "School is important. Look! A distracting noun of some sort that I see out the window!") when all the lights on our Prius lit up at once. The giant red triangle-exclamation-point thingy, the squiggly exclamation point, the one that has a plus and minus, the engine light, all of them. Luckily this made it so I didn't have to find a bee or a rabid dog outside to distract my five-year-old. I could point to the lights. But then again, I had never seen so many lights.

"What happens if our car explodes?" my five-year-old asked, clearly hoping to be exempt from school.

Unfortunately for him, the car stayed intact and made it to the kindergarten door with a minute to spare. Five-year-old dashed out, forgetting everything he'd just said because look! friendsrecessyay! He headed inside, and I headed for home. It's only a mile or so drive, and the many lights had dimmed to just three (including, of course, the big red exclamation triangle of potentially expensive despair), and I was just turning the fourth-to-last turn when our car slowed, the miles per hour ticking down from 15 to 10 to 5... I pushed the gas petal, but we were gentle-breeze slow at that point.

"Wheee!" said my three-year-old with absolute conviction.

"Whee," I said, pulling over to the side and hoping I wouldn't die right behind someone's driveway.

I drifted to a very slow stop in front of the house with the big star on it. I pulled out the three-year-old, who was extremely happy to have the car die because, hey, running by fences, and the baby, who drooled on my arm. We walked home. I put them down for naps. An hour later we walked back, me pushing a stroller and carrying a gas can that I hoped would let our car move.

It worked. The lights turned off. My baby and three-year-old had to go back in the car, which smelled very much like gas because of the gas can I had to carry in the back.

Whee indeed.

So. Moral of this story is that the battery in a Prius only lasts about a half-mile once you run out of gas. And school is important.

A platypus!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting fact that might come in handy for you.. Prius will not notice the gas you put in, in these situations if it is not on even ground...