Wednesday, March 9, 2011

True/False True Fact: Your father is always right....(sometimes)

I love my father.  And since he has retired, I've noticed that he emails me a lot more.  Rarely are the emails very informative - but rather contain a lot of spam or chain messages others have sent to him.  This is one I received last week regarding tips on how to pump gas.  Maybe you've received it as well.  (I apologize in advance for its length.....)

Here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.

To have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really simple to do.

I'm sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)...and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers !!!!!!! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted!

If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!

Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. How long would it take?

After I read this, I smirked like a gambler who's holding a royal flush.  My commuter bike was sitting in the corner of my office, a little muddy from the morning ride in to work.  "Oh, silly father - does it really need to be so complicated?" I thought.

I replied to his email:

Thanks so much for this note.  I'm forwarding it onto a few of my friends as instructed.  Plus I've added an illustrated tip of my own that I've noticed helps reduce the number of trips to the gas station.  I hope that was OK.
Ride a bike.


I got no response.  Fast forward to the weekend.  The GEEC and I decided to ride our bicycles to and from the True/False film festival all weekend.   Despite the foul weather, the streets were teaming with like-minded cycling movie-goers and every bike rack we saw was piggy-piled with bicycles.  We waved at others on their bikes, riding quickly to and fro with laminated movie passes flapping at the end of lanyards around their necks.  We smiled, and nearly broke into song...just like this:

It was in the midst of this little cycling smug-bubble, between movies 3 and 4 on Satuday, that I began to get a little sleepy and decided I needed some coffee. The GEEC and I dashed over to Starbuck's to grab a quick cup of coffee before our next movie. We emerged with warm cups in our hands, unlocked the bikes and I attempted to throw my leg over the top tube.  Now, were I more astute, perhaps I would have been able to sense the cosmic tumblers that were begining to fall into position in delayed response to the snarky reply I had sent to my father's email days beforehand. Regardless, as I mounted my bicycle, I felt a sudden resistance in the movement of my leg and then heard a loud POP.  The resistance had vanished and a sudden rush of very cold air entered my groinal region.  I looked down to see that I had blown the entire crotch out of my jeans.  Luckily, the weather was cold enough that day that I decided to wear long johns underneath.  The GEEC, of course, snapped a picture.

Two attractive college-aged girls passed by on the sidewalk at that very moment and looked at my tattered pants.  They didn't snigger, they didn't giggle.  The look on their faces was as if they were watching a crow disembowel a road-killed skunk in the middle of the street.  The ride home was drafty and long and I wished I was in my car, which incidentally was on empty and required filling before we drove it to our final movie of the night.

Thanks for the tips, Dad.


  1. I'm diggin that bobbed rear fender on Kermit's ride.

  2. You need to get rid of the car. It's there, like booze to an alcoholic, waiting for your moments of weakness.

    My friend Alvin Sweezer would not have caved so easily. Rumor has it, Alvin once had his bike break down on his 15-mile morning commute just 1/8th of a mile into it. Instead of walking home, he picked up his bike and ran to work. Then after busting his ass all day he ran the 5-miles to Walt's, picked up his bike and pedaled home. Then again, Alvin Sweezer is a man's man.

    You ripped your pants and cried all the way home.

  3. I got the same email from my old man this morning. I didn't respond as usual. I hardly think that the quantity of gasoline contained within the vapors of my fuel tank is worthy of response.

    I do have a question regarding your pants tearing. Do you recall being very angry just before the incident?

    If so, you may have been inadvertently dosed with a blast of gamma radiation. I've seen this in a movie (so apparently it can happen).

    Another sign to be on the look out for is the near uncontrollable urge to crush or smash things.

    Or maybe they were just some really crappy or worn out jeans, but most likely it's side-effects of gamma radiation.

    Good luck to you sir!

  4. Good thinking David Henderson.

    PooBah, another symptom of this gamma ray poisoning is a discoloration of the skin. Have you noticed any unusual shade lately besides the pasty white?

  5. Anonymous: Thank you for your example of a man's man. Admitedly, I've never been accused of being a man's man...and somehow I'm OK with that....not that there is anything wrong with it.

    DH and RCT: Thanks for the comments. I can only assume you are both referring to Bruce Banner aka "The Hulk". A question back to you both. How was it that each and every time Bruce turned into the Hulk, he never blew his pants off? Poor Lou Ferrigno must have been DAMN cramped wearing Bill Bixby's Daisy Dukes all the time.

  6. Love the video!! Makes me want to get on my bike out on the trail and break into melodious song as I pedal along. Thanks for the cheery message.