"Ya know, for less than six bucks, Jolt will take me all the way to work and back. That's like 80 miles. So, after you eat that burger and fries, are you gonna carry me 80 miles so we can give Jolt a rest?" I asked, as we wait at the drive-thru window for his exquisite cuisine to be meticulously prepared.
"Nope," he responded, staring out the windshield at nothing in particular.
"Okay, how about one-way, just to work? It's downhill."
|Jolt, from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen|
So I figured he wouldn't mind pumping gas for Jolt. In fact, he was pretty excited about it. We were on the way back from school after dropping off his science project, titled "At Which Angle Does a NERF Gun Shoot the Farthest?" (45 degrees, in case you're wondering). The Shell station was halfway between school and home, which presented a perfect opportunity to train the boy. But there were problems. The gas door wouldn't open, despite repeated attempts at punching the button and the dash indicating that Jolt was ready for refueling.
"Are you sure it goes here?" asked my beloved son, pointing at the Jolt's right rear quarter. He did something back there and then yelled, "Okay I got it!". By now a couple of folks were staring with curiosity. I nonchalantly got out of the car and walked over to the pump, where I slid my credit card and had him select "V-Power" and grab the nozzle. He stuck it in Jolt's filler and pulled the trigger, but the pump clicked off immediately. "Let go of the trigger and pull it again," I advised him. He did this a number of times, but the pump would just click. Click, click, click... like a six-shooter fresh out of bullets. "Let me try," I said, and he moved aside.
I shoved the nozzle farther into the filler, fighting against the vapor recovery sleeve all the way. Although not visible, I'm thinking that they used a spring from a coilover shock made for offroad vehicles to guarantee that this damn sleeve seats against the filler so tight that not one single molecule of noxious vapor escapes into the atmosphere. I pull the trigger a few times, the pump still clicks off.
"Are you sure it goes here?" he asked, again.
I sighed. "Yes," I replied, but I don't think he believed me.
By now, the same people that were staring looked more curious and actually seemed a tad bit concerned. Others started to notice our battle with the nozzle. I was afraid that a crowd would soon form and someone with an iPhone would post the whole ordeal and go viral. Some were probably wondering if we'd all be blown to smithereens in a few seconds as this clueless idiot with an electric car pumps 91-octane into a charge port that's expecting 240 volts. I actually doubted myself for a moment when my son questioned my judgement. Fortunately after finding the perfect angle, I got the pump to actually do some pumping. I let my son take over, but he didn't have the strength to fight the vapor recovery sleeve for very long. So I had to finish the job as he watched the display and asked him tell me when we were close to eight gallons. I didn't trust the pump to stop automatically when the tank was full since we were constantly fighting it and it was still clicking off every so often, even at the right angle and at a slower flow. At just short of eight gallons we declared victory, so my son capped the filler and shut the gas door as I hung the nozzle back on the pump.
"Well that was fun, wasn't it?" I asked.
"Yeah," he responded, chuckling as he smirked. "Thanks, Dad. I love you."
"I love you too, boy."