Monday, December 18, 2006
Linville Takes Gas On Good Citizenship Award
If you're having problems syphoning the gas out of your car to run your emergency generator in Seattle after the inclement weather, give me a call. That's how I kept my old '40 Chev running in highschool. I remember one night Cary Winschell, Rudy, and I were hitting pay dirt on about our 4th car after successfuly syphoning about 12 gallons already. You see, all you have to do is to stick a 6 foot hose down into a car's gas tank and make sure the end sticking out of the tank is lower than the end in the tank. (Remember Mr. Putnam telling us how fluids seeketh their own level.) To commence the process, it's necessary to suck the hose to get the fluid flowing and, voila, you're in the retail petroleum industry with no start-up costs, (as long as you don't get caught).
Winschell was just learning how to smoke and I'll never forget the time he was holding the hose with one hand, sucking on it to get a stream of gas started into an empty can, with a lighted cigarette in the other hand. To add to the precarious situation he was dizzier than a loon from the effects of this, up to now, foreign substance, i. e. nicotine, being ingested into his virgin lungs. Rudy and I were keeping a look-out for irate automobile owners who didn't take kindly to having their gasoline stolen by sophomoric juvenile delinquents, such as us. (I hope the statute of limitations has expired. How about it, Coop?) I whispered as loud as I could, "Christ, Winschell, are you trying to blow us all up? Put that fag [editor's note: 1950s slang for "cigarette") out until we're done gettin' the gas, you idiot!" As he began to comply with my request, the stream of gas started coming out the end of the hose. The way that you know this is that, if your timing isn't perfect, you get a mouthful of high octane before you can get the hose out of your mouth and inserted into the opening of the gas can. He dropped the butt in the grass just as he began egressing the distasteful, flammable mixture out of his mouth mere inches from the burning cigarette butt. Of course, Rudy was laughing his ass off since he was fearless anyway. He was smoking, too, but he was sucking on a warm stubby of Oly since we had Winchell doing all the work, corrupting an otherwise nice young man.
How we avoided a fatal explosion, and getting caught to boot, I'll never know. What chance did I have for a good citizenship award hanging out with these guys? It sure helped to stretch my allowance out though, not having to buy gas with it. It left enough money to go out on a date if I could have just found someone to go out with me.