Sunday, February 06, 2005
Siphon my gasoline. I dare you.
A story that I wrote but never posted. This happened on my drive from Kansas to Texas.

A big ol' ice storm hit on Wednesday. I was planning on leaving town on Thursday. I HAD to be in town Saturday by 9am to start classes, and I was signing the least on Friday morning. So I did have a little bit of wiggle room, but not much. Anyway, the ice storm hit on Wednesday.

My car was sitting on the driveway. The wind came across the car towards the drivers side, so the worst, thickest ice was on that side. I needed to get into the car and move the car into the garage so 1) the car would magically melt and 2) I could load the car without being in the bitter cold. How to get the ice off of the car, though? The traditional ice scraper was not up for this job. I ended up using a combination of boiling water, a knife, and a rolling pin. I was never able to open the driver's side door, but I did open the passenger door and slide over. I started the car, slid a little bit on the driveway, but eventually got it into the garage. I worked and worked until all the doors were open. I used a hair dryer on an extension cord. I got the doors and the trunk open, packed two boxes, and went to bed.

The next morning I wake up and the doors are once again frozen shut. What had happened when I used the hair dryer, it had melted the ice so that it could slide into the grooves as water. Then it froze again, deeper and more difficult than it had ever been. One by one I got the doors open again. I was trying to leave by 11. By 11 I had only gotten 2 doors and the trunk open. That was frustrating.

I also had to work on the gas door because it was frozen shut and the tank was on empty (one of the reasons that I couldnt put the defrost on in the car and wait for it to do its job. I would have run out of gas on the driveway. So I am using the butter knife (not a sharp one, I am not that dangerous) and something as a mallet to pick at the gas door. I feel like an artist at this point, sculpting. I get it to where I can slightly open in and I pry it open the rest of the way and hear a pop. Yep, that was one of the hinges on the gasoline door. Oh, well, I forge on.

It takes me a while to finish the car and then I load and leave. The back windshield was completely clear. The front was covered just on the passenger corner and on the windshield wipers (NOT SMART!!!). I go get gasoline where this kind gentleman offers to scrape off part of the back drivers side window. I drive on. It is sort of misting. The mist is dirt-mist and turns to dirt-ice once it makes contact with the cold windshield. So I use my windshield wipers to clean it. Except they are still covered in snow and do NOTHING. So I use the fluid, which also freezes on contact and makes it worse. It doesn't freeze clear, either. It freezes light brown. A mixture of washer fluid, water, and dirt. Fantastic.

I am driving down 35, hoping I can see as I move into different positions seeing thorugh little one inch by two inch openings. The entire drive, I am thinking of how dangerous this is, but it might be even worse to stop on the side of the road and have another driver hit me. My washer fluid helps the situation a little. Until it stops working. Then I stop at the first gas station and buy more (2 dollars for a huge bottle.. what a deal!!!) and fill it (this was a first for me and I get a gold star for accomplishing it when it was dirty and icky and my fingers were half frozen because it was, after all, about 18 degrees outside.)

I go into my car and try the magic of fresh washer fluid. Ha! It doesnt work. I ask my cleaning- his-windshield-neighbor and he tells me that probably the line is frozen. Lucky me. I throw some of the window wash on the windshield and clean it with a paper towel. I continue on my way and stop in about 30 miles to clean it again, hoping that I dont have to do that all night. Luckily the line defrosts and I can use it again about an hour and a half after it quit.

I stop for gas just inside the Texas border. I forget about my precarious gas door that has to be lined up just right and so have to stop again because, yes, it is open. I finally arrived at my roommate's apt. later that night with a fabulous story!
But you thought it was over, right. No! The next day I drove to Austin in my couldn't-get-any-more-dirty car. D_I_S_G_U_S_T_I_N_G! So dirty I am sure people were looking at me funny. Anyway, I went to wash it at a local gas station. Yea! A clean car! I was looking out of my side view mirror admiring my new clean car when I noticed the gas gauge door had fallen off. I am worse off than I thought I was. Someone who thought they had a dirty car was now in the car wash and there was another one waiting to go. I went and asked the kind sir to please let me retrieve my gas door before he washed his car. So I wait and walk through the car wash and pick up my door. I called the dealership to see what it would involve to get it fixed. Well it involves quite a bit. They have to get a new one, even though my door is perfectly fine, well, fine except for that it is not attatched to the car and a few little bits have broken off.

So I go to Walmart for some super glue. Super glue solves everything, right? I buy the superglue and try to repair it. NOT SUCCESSFULLY. I end up glueing my winter gloves to the door, but with my amazing strength I pull them away. Anyway, it didnt work because the glue was too thin.

HOT GLUE! Hot glue should work. But, living in an apartment, and not owning a 100 ft extension cord, I dont know how I will get a hot glue gun to my car. So I go up to church one day and use it there. Except it was totally clogged and we spent about 1/2 hour taking apart the glue gun and pulling out the clogging glue. The glue gun was never quite the same, but it worked. It looked really ghetto when I was done with it, but it was serviceable.

For a few days, anyway. After that, the door wasn't lining up right. It was sticking out more on the side that wasn't even supposed to open. And the side that was supposed to open wouldn't. I would pull the little gasoline door opener button in my car, hear a click, and see that nothing had happened. So then I grab a knife and pry the door open. (Which, ironically, is what got me into this trouble in the first place.) When I get it open, it looks fine, but one of the hot glue gunned hinges is no longer in tact. But the other one is still holding up and I can close the door, barely. I have no faith in my handy work, anymore.

Duck Tape! Duck Tape! Why didn't I think of that in the first place? I buy some duck tape. It didn't work. Because I never got around to trying it. It is still sitting in my laundry room, waiting to solve all of my problems. But, I got some advice to try some super glue GEL (who knew!) and then clamp it in place for it to dry for an extended amount of time. So that is the next step. Just waiting for some dry weather and the inclination to solve this problem. Or to see it fail once more.


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