Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mr. Know It All

So, Mr. Know It All has learned that he does not know it all after all, which will come as a surprise to some, and result in “I told you so” from others. Many, many others. I am going to share what I learned with you, because most of you probably don’t know about it either. I have been driving a loaner car from the dealership, while my Avalanche is having some work done.  It has stretched out for over two weeks and is starting to aggravate me, but that is a different post to be written. For years I have driven vehicles that have the gas filler tube on the driver’s side. I like that I can pull up to a gas pump and be right 100% of the time, without even thinking about it.  HOWEVER, the Malibu’s filler is on the passenger side. This has resulted in me pulling up to the gas pump along the wrong side of the vehicle 100% of the time. That is even more aggravating than not having my own vehicle back timely (or fixed correctly the first time). So, I pulled into a gas station today (not a Citgo, never a Citgo because it is the nationalized gas of a government that hates this country—but that is a different post to be written) and got out, only to find I was on the wrong side. Again. All the lanes were all full, so I backed the vehicle in at an angle to allow the hose to reach the passenger side. I slid my credit card in the pump and as I lifted the handle a voice from the next lane says, “Do you know how you can remember which side your gas cap is on?”  Obviously the person did not know who she was offering advice to.  I took a deep breath and swallowed my pride, “How’s that?” The woman said she was retired from a company that manufactured instrument panels and gauges and that every vehicle has a small arrow on the gas gauge pointing to which side the filler tube is located. “Take a look.” I did, and darn if she wasn’t right! I have been driving since June of 1970 and never knew that. (Actually since fall of 1968, but we don't discuss the pre-license years.) I had to be told by the little filly in the next lane. Well, she was more like the old gray mare, one that had probably been well-ridden, but that is a whole different post to be written. We both went into the mart to buy something and we chatted for a couple minutes. She bought coffee and cigarettes, said good bye to me and hoofed out to her car. I bought an unsweetened ice tea and, because I was feeling lucky from my new-found knowledge, a PowerBall ticket. The old mare taught me about the arrow, but she wasn’t Lady Luck.  Not one of the numbers on the ticket matched the numbers drawn. But, if I drive until I am 100, I will never again pull up to the wrong side of a gas pump. I will have less aggravation in my life. I can rightfully reclaim my title as Mr. Know It All. Finally, I have a tidbit that I can always share with others at concerts, parties, the pool, wherever. In a way, that’s kind of like winning a lottery. A very small one and one that will aggravate listeners in the future.