Running on empty
I drive a 22 year old car. I bought it this year and it was a bargain, one lady owner who probably only drove it to the shops and back, judging by the mileage. I do at least 300 kilometres a week, and that’s just to work and back, more if I go into town on the weekend, or go to writers’ group meetings. My fuel guage doesn’t work, which is not an issue because I always note when I put in petrol. So last week I put $20 in the car with the odometer reading …007. An easy number to remember? So why on Tuesday morning, on the way to work, did I run out of petrol, only 125 kilometres later? It doesn’t add up. Unless the petrol was siphoned out of my car.
It’s not the only thing being stolen in the area. Whole bunches of bananas are disappearing off trees overnight. They are hot commodity after Cyclone Larry wiped out much of the Australian banana industry in March.
It was lucky that I ran out of petrol on the way to work, and not on the way home after doing overtime. The road can be almost deserted at night. I was about 2 kilometres out of my village, and about 4 kilometres from home, but with no mobile signal. I flagged down a driver heading back towards my house, and scored a lift. Dragged my partner out of bed, took a gerry can of petrol to the car, and then took it back to the general store to fill it up. I missed about an hour of work, and admitted when I arrived that my car problems were as a result of running out of petrol. But I won’t be taking any more chances. I’ll be putting more petrol in every second day to make sure it doesn’t happen again.