Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stupidity and providence

Tonight, the car was almost out of fuel.It is still relatively new to us (this is only about the fifth time I've had to re-fuel). It is the first diesel car I have owned. (By now I expect some of you have guessed where this story is heading.)

There I was, filling her up, when I saw a private hire taxi draw alongside me. I noticed that the driver used the unleaded nozzle and I thought that it was unusual for a taxi not to use diesel. Then I looked down at what I was doing. Yes, you guessed it, I had just pumped 20 litres of unleaded petrol into my diesel powered car!

There was another taxi in the petrol station, a proper taxi cab, so I went over to ask the driver's advice. "Don't, under any circumstances, turn the engine on!" he said, "Phone the AA or the RAC and ask them what to do."

I'm not in the AA but my father is, so I phoned him, to ask him to phone them, to ask for advice. While I was on the phone, the taxi driver drove back in and told me that there was an AA van just outside and that he'd asked him to come in and see what he could do. Sure enough, seconds later the AA man turned up. He asked if the car was still under warranty? It is new to us, so I wasn't sure exactly how old it was but the handbook etc. was still in the glove compartment. Turns out that it was first registered on 24 February 2006 - within the year...just! :-) So, the AA man phoned Ford Assist and they told him to tow us to a garage. He should have taken us to the nearest Ford dealership but instead he took us to the Ford garage about ten minutes walk from our house. Brilliant!

When we got there, the garage was closed, so I have yet to find out the cost of my error. However at least I realised what I had done before turning on the engine and it was fantastic that such helpful taxi and AA men were so close by.

Stupidity and providence! It's hard to say which one was present in greatest measure.

The disasters didn't end there either. The garage is just round the corner from a Macdonald's. It was now quite late, so it was decided that a treat should be purchased and a taxi ordered so that it would still be hot when I I got home. About half an hour after I got home, I realised that I'd lost my wallet! Macdonald's and the taxi firm were both phoned... more in hope than in expectation. However, twenty minutes later, the taxi man turned up at the door with my wallet which he'd found under the seat. Despite my best efforts, he point blank refused to take a reward.

Oh... and Colin slipped his lead and ran off while on his walk tonight. He disappeared completely from sight but thankfully came back after what seemed like ages but was probably less than two minutes!

Hopefully I am now at the end of the day without further disaster.

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Chris said...

You could look at this day in another way: just think of all the opportunities you gave for people to be of service! I've just been reading Jonathan Sacks on how people grow by giving service: you've provided the means....

Would you know I had a sermon coming up? :-)

David said...

I suppose there is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 thing of being able to comfort others who do the thing I did... but basically I just feel stupid. Maybe someone has grown by helping me - certainly the AA man went above and beyond... but basically I just feel stupid. Perhaps I've learned something myself... but basically I just feel stupid.

Does this help your sermon preparation in any way? :-)

Chris said...

Hmm. You never know - because it'd make quite a good illustration!