Five Places Not to Get Stranded

A couple of days ago I was using the garden tractor to mow the west forty. That’s my nickname for the orchard area. Its not really 40 acres – the whole property is just under half an acre – but “mowing the west forty” sounds more impressive than “mowing the orchard” which only has three trees so far. Anyway, since I’m still unfamiliar with the eccentricities of the tractor I managed to run out of gas in the middle of the field. As I was walking to the shed to get the gas can so I could finish the job, I thought that there are far worse places to run out of gas. I’ve listed my top five worse places here.

  1. In the middle of city traffic. At this point you’ve inconvenienced who knows how many people by blocking a lane of traffic. Horns start honking as you get out of the car and call triple A to bring you a gallon of gas to get you to the nearest station.
  2. In the middle of the jungle. I picture that movie about Lara Croft where she is driving a Land Rover through the thick Cambodian jungle. In the movie she makes it to her destination of the monkey palace with no trouble. But if she had run out of gas the native tribes would have banded together to bring her several gallons of gas because they all owed her a favor from her previous visit. Failing that she would have been able to distill her own Ethanol fuel by fermenting a large vat of jungle vegetation.
  3. In a boat on a lake. It happens all the time, weekend boaters run out of gas in the middle of the lake but don’t worry about it because they still have plenty of beer. They have to call one of their friends that have a boat and get towed to shore. Aren’t cell phones wonderful? All they have to worry about is that their friend gets there before Parks and Recreation because they have no life jackets.
  4. On a boat in the middle of the ocean. There’s two possibilities here. If you are less than ten miles out you can still radio the Coast Guard. If you get that far out you better have your life jacket at the ready anyway. But if you are farther out you could be in for a long wait. Most cruise liners don’t pick up hitchhikers and fishing trawlers aren’t always going your direction toward shore.
  5. The absolute worse place to run out of fuel has got to be outer space. If you are still within radioing distance to earth, you are going to have to be able to speak Russian because they are the only folks nearby with a reliable space program. Otherwise you can always wait to be picked up by little gray aliens. But you might find yourself sore from all the probes they send to Uranus.