Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Problems that never crossed my mind

Nobody gets through this life without having problems of one kind or another. There are health problems, relationship problems, financial problems, job problems -- problems related to all facets of life, I suppose. There are big problems and small problems, and if you're a worrier like I am, you've probably encountered many of these problems in your imagination, if not in real life.

But what about the problems that you haven't imagined? What about the ones that wouldn't have occurred to you in a million years? I've had two such problems in the recent past. On a scale measuring problem magnitude, these two might lie near the bottom of the "insignificant" range, though I was stunned in both cases by the need for an immediate solution.

Problem No. 1:

The night before my daughters and I were to pick up Levi from my niece and my sister at a point on Interstate 10 halfway between our homes, I went to gas up my car for the trip. I pulled up next to the pump, popped the little lever that opens the door over my gas cap, and got out of my car with my gas card in my hand, just like I always do.  Except that this time the little door didn't open when I popped that lever. I popped it again and again, and nothing happened. I tried to pry the door open with my car key and couldn't budge it.  I called my son-in-law, told him what was going on, and asked him if he knew of any kind of override thingy that would open the gas-cap door when the lever doesn't work.  No, he didn't know of anything, but he suggested that maybe the door was stuck because of lack of use.

There was nothing else I could do at the gas station, so I drove home, dug out the rarely used can of silicone spray, and sprayed both the lever and the little door thoroughly.  Several times. Finally, I got the darn thing unstuck. Just to be on the safe side, I took the can of silicone station with me and drove back to the gas station to try again.

So, do you see what I mean? Would it ever have crossed your mind that you wouldn't be able to get fuel for your car because that little gas door would stick closed? Of course not.


Before I go on to the next problem, I'll issue you a fair warning:  If you're squeamish, you probably shouldn't read any further. The problem I'm about to discuss is not a pretty one, nor is it something to be discussed in polite company, but I'm going to tell you what happened anyway, because if it happened to me, it could happen to you.


Problem No. 2:

I was driving along on my way to do a little last-minute shopping, almost there, when I sneezed. I always cover my nose and mouth when I sneeze, but this time I didn't. I could tell it was going to be a big sneeze, I knew my eyes would close briefly when it happened, and I wanted both hands to be firmly on the steering wheel.

In fact, the sneeze turned out to so big that I felt something fly out of my nose. (Don't you dare say I didn't warn you!) As disgusting as that was, I didn't recognize the urgency of the problem until I had parked my car. Then it hit me: That thing that flew out of my nose? Where was it? Was it on me? What if I couldn't see where it had landed, but everyone I'd eventually encounter in the store would be able to see it clearly? I was literally trapped in my car until I found it. Me, a full-grown woman, held hostage by a booger. Could you ever have imagined that particular problem?

Thankfully, I located the offending item after a careful, two-minute search, disposed of it, and continued my shopping expedition confidently.

Now that I've exposed this hidden danger to you, maybe you wish I hadn't. Maybe even I will wish I hadn't, but I did it because the same thing could easily happen to you when you least expect it. Yes, it could, too, no matter how hoity-toity you are.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I'm sure this or something similar happens to everyone now and then. You made me smile : )

    Have a great day!

  2. Yes indeed, it can happen to anyone...I personally know!

  3. My trunk door on my jeep periodically stops working... and NO I don't know what to do but I'm thinking silicone or graphite...

    And yes, the other has happened... Not pretty!

  4. When I started reading I thought, 'Oh yeah, right, something I have never thought of to worry about.'...I am the big time worrier of the world...But it is true I have never worried about these 2 things. They had never entered my mind!...But, thank you very much. Now I have 2 more things on my plate. hsee

  5. I've had that gas door thing happen to me before. It took a while to find it in the car's manual but there was an override button in the trunk. The button allowed the door to be manually opened.

  6. Drat! I was hoping you blew a gallon of snot onto your windshield and couldn't see, or something spectacular like that. ;-)

    It never occurred to me that the little door for the gas might get stuck! Now I'll be paranoid.


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