The Gas Whisperer

 

Remember the famous photo to the right of Pres. Bush with arm around the firefighter at site of the Twin Towers debacle?  Well that firefighter looks eerily alike my husband.  Just thought I’d resurrect this picture.  But I’ll bet this man isn’t a “Gas Whisperer.”

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Oh, you’ve heard about the “Horse Whisperer“…”the Dog Whisperer”…Those are the folks who apparently speak the language of their tribe, bonding with them… exacting good behavior.

My husband attempts that with fuel, coaxing it to go further…

You know that we all have our little peccadilloes, the traits that make us who we are. They’re usually aspects that come about, due to our upbringing or our childhood, something that triggers the behavior.

Then again, life experiences condition, too…

I call my husband the “Gas Whisperer” because he likes to flirt with running out of fuel, and I have to watch him, for left to his own devices, we could be stranded in some pretty ornery places, bereft of the substance to get us out.

It’s pretty strange, really, for he’s a long-haul trucker, by trade, and I wouldn’t think all his experience on the road would allow him to be so cavalier about whether we have enough gas to get from point A to point B.

So, what is it that makes him this way? Well, he hates the spiraling upwards of gas prices and refuses to stop to refuel. It doesn’t even matter when I say: “Look, we’ve got no right to complain. Europe’s been paying these prices—and much higher—for years.”

I know that from my travels in other lands. When Americans complain, they’re just showing an entitled naivete that irks other nationalities.

But, I must say, too: His stubbornness has led to embarrassing moments that usually only happen to new drivers. Case in point: My days as realtor. On one occasion, he picked me up from a house-showing in his 1977 Ford Ranger F-150 truck, his prized possession, really, in that it bears antique plates.

Well, we were coming up a steep hill and the truck began sputtering. I thought: “Well, it’s dying…after all, it’s pretty old.” However, it wasn’t the truck’s fault; it was my husband’s. He’d allowed the gas to go down to vapor level, and when we climbed the ascent, even that wasn’t kicking on.

I was furious. Here I was, a realtor representing some really well-heeled clients in our community and I’m hanging out over the side of the opened hood, wondering, with him, what was wrong, until finally, he fessed up, admitting: “The truck’s out of gas.”

It was then I let him have it. I said: “How do you think it looks with me as realtor in this area, stranded along the road, waiting for my husband to bring gas in a can from the local station?” “ I mean, teenagers who don’t know any better do this—not grown adults.”

Sorry—it made me appear careless, and as a realtor, that could be the kiss of death. Then, again, I’m not a casual idiot who just doesn’t worry about such things, so I resented it.

I sputtered my displeasure while he sheepishly looked away. But we’ve learned to adjust to each other’s peccadilloes (and remember, I started this blog post about this…)

How do I handle this now? I check the gas gauge. In fact, I mostly do ALL the driving. That way I can stop wherever and pull into a shop on a moment’s notice (something he’d never do, but then again, he was used to pulling 65,000 lbs. weight behind him, making stopping on a dime impossible.)

So, as I said:  We’re born with some of our tendencies or we develop them due to life circumstances.  Now, the question is:  “If I dub him “the Gas Whisperer,” I wonder what he’d call me?”

PS…Here’s another ‘whisperer’  making the rounds today…I guess there are all types and come to think of it…”Why do they call them such?” If someone of you out there knows the answer to this, please let us know…Do they really ‘whisper,’ and won’t normal talk do? I’m all ears…

 

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A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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