plug em if you got em

friday the 13th, at a tattoo shop, is always a clusterfuck…

…a brief history. friday the 13th is considered, by most normal folks, a bad luck kinda day. since the tattoo industry has always kinda been filled with misfits and abnormal folks, we revel in what most society shuns, so back when it became a customer appreciation day. come to the shop on friday the 13th, all you repeat clients, and we’ll give you a cheap tattoo in honor of your loyal patronage and make a bad day a good day for you!

then came a couple of very entitled generations who always got a trophy no matter what coupled with social media and now everybody feels it is there god given right to get a $100 tattoo for $20 on friday 13th just because. to quote a co-worker, “if your boss said, ‘hey steve, we want you to come to work friday but we’re only gonna pay you 25% of what we normally do because the internet says that’s the way it is today’ would you still come to work?”

exactly – that’s why we don’t do specials. we were still slammed, had a two plus hour wait most of the day, and were booked for the night by 9:30 (we close at midnight). not to shabby. but i’m gonna bookend all that with the story for today.

so, on the way in i had something fall off a truck and get knocked in my lane. it wasn’t large – it was about six by eight inches, and about an inch thick. i don’t know if it was wood or metal or what. but it landed in my lane out of an open semi bed without giving me enough time or room to avoid it, so i clipped it with the left front wheel and whipped under the car and out. i figured i’d jacked a wheel or tire and waited for the inevitable tire pressure light that, to my surprise, never came. but when i got to the shop about thirty minutes later and went to get out of the car i smelled gas. i looked around in a panic and noticed that the shell station across the street had the fuel truck in it and they were refilling the tanks. figuring that was the source i locked up the car and went in for my five to midnight shift.

when i got back in the car at midnight i still smelled gas. the day before a co-worker and i were complaining that one of the few drawbacks about driving a nice car (outside of more expensive repair costs) was that they were really well sealed to the point where they held smells. this came about when he was talking about being gassy on the way home and a fart waiting for him from the drive home to when he took his girl to school.

“daddy, your car smells…”

so, i figured that was what had happened. i popped the moon roof open, turned the fans on medium, and let the smell dissipate, telling myself it couldn’t be a fuel leak. it just couldn’t. i mean, if i had a fuel leak my fuel level would be low, and i had gone to san marcos and driven into austin after i’d filled up that morning, so i should have about three quarters of a tank left and it showed, right there, on the gauge, a quarter tank.

wait – one quarter? not three? what the fuck?

i pulled forward and saw about a four foot diameter puddle where i’d been parked. given the cost of gas right now this hurt in more than one way. i had a quarter tank, it showed i had about 111 miles to empty, and so i started my thirty plus mile journey home. when i got home the needle had barely moved, i was home, and it showed i still had 85 miles till empty. what the fuck? and no gas smell to speak of.

the rest of the weekend i took mr. grey to the shop. he liked making the run again, as evident by his constant coolant leak somehow sealing itself for the duration of the weekend. think he might need to roll in a couple times a month going forward in addition to his weekly country drives.

monday morning i tempted fate and put another twenty bucks in the tank. it took it to a half a tank, 200+ miles till empty. i started in, planning on hitting a garage that was expecting me instead of the shop. but when i got to the turn off i had lost zero gas compared to a normal drive, so i went to the shop to get supplies for another location between my normal haunt and the garage. when i stopped at THAT location to drop off, i smelled gas. and i could see it dripping. going off the mileage drop i lost about two gallons in the fifteen minutes i was there. i went straight to the garage from there, and since it was my boss’ friends, he’d called ahead, and my name IS on my plates, i got out of the car to watch an AMG benz grind to halt, then window drop, and a voice say, “sean, i’ll come get your keys in two minutes!” true to his word, he did, and it took less than five minutes for him to find this:

a hole in the gas tank about the size of my little finger. the upside? like many other things on a bmw, it’s made of military grade PLASTIC, so it can be plugged like a tire. an hour and some change and two bills later i was back on the road, keeping an eye out for more sharp road hazards!

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