Wednesday, November 04, 2015
The “E” does not stand for “enough.”
The “E” does not stand for “enough,” thought the hind-portion of my brain. It might be prudent to drive by the gas station on the way to work.
Great! There goes any chance of arriving to work on time. Not that it matters in the great scheme of things—“Project: Sippy-Cup” is currently paused while we wait for The Monopolistic Phone Company to get its act together so a few extra minutes won't hurt. As it is, I'm barely cognizant at o'God-it's-morning and the less I have to think, the better. It's not enough I have to drive to The Ft. Lauderdale Office. Now I have to obtain gas as well.
The closest gas station is around the corner. And by “around the corner” I mean, in the opposite direction I need to travel. There are two approaches to it, one is heading east along Yamato where you turn in (south) and end up facing west at the pump. The other approach is heading north along 2nd and turning (east) into the station, facing east at the pump. Leaving is even worse. You end up heading east on Yamato (which is not the direction I want to go in), or you can only turn into the “right turn only” lane of northbound 2nd and stil end up heading east on Yamato.
I need to head west on Yamato to hit I-95 south towards the Ft. Lauderdale Office of The Corporation. To head west, you either need to cross four lanes of traffic ignoring the “45 MPH” speed limit where if you are lucky, you can enact a U-turn before you admit defeat and end up at the “NO RIGHT TURN ON RED” intersection of Yamato and Federal Highway. Or, having lived in the area for several years, you know of a secret back alley just east of the gas station off Yamato that doesn't officially exist on any map of Boca Raton which cuts through a heavy industrial complex hidden away behind palm trees and unassuming storefronts where the less questions asked, the better. You'll end up a bit further south on 2nd, but it's enough road to cut across only two lanes of traffic ignoring the speed limit, then wait to turn left onto Yamato. Even so, it's still the best place to get gas on the way to work.
I snake my way through the neighborhood, head north on 2nd. Since I'll be headed east on Yamato anyway, I might as well make it easy to get onto eastbound Yamato from the gas station.
I pull into the gas station to half the lot gone and replaced with large holes. There are several men in the holes, their heads just clearing the surface, carrying on conversations with several other men standing around the holes, all looking rather stern faced at all the holes in Boss Man's dirt.
Me? I'm looking in horror as half the pumps are taped off with yellow warning tape, and what pumps are open occupied with vehicles just sitting there with no one else around filling them up. It's clear I am not getting gas at this gas station. But it's not clear that I will be leaving any time soon. I can't back into 2nd, and forward progress towards the Yamato entrance/exit is impeded by the parked cars in front of pumps not being pumped by anyone.
I wonder if I have enough gas to get to work and back? I think. Nope, the hind-portion of my brain replies. It looks like we'll have to hit the other gas station before we get to work.
Great! I enact a slow, thousand-point turn to head back out on 2nd, hit eastbound Yamato, cut through the hidden indistrial complex back onto 2nd and head west on Yamato towards the other gas station, hitting every red light on the way.
Now, you are probably thinking that if I-95 is to my west, and I'm heading west to this gas station, why not head to the west gas station? That would be because the west gas station is west of I-95. And like the gas station to the east, it too, only has two entrances to it. One which is just west of the gas station (turning north) where you head slightly back east to the gas station. The other one is accessible if you are heading south on Congress (which I won't be). You turn right (west) onto an access road that runs behind the gas station and takes you around to the entrance you use if you are entering from Yamato. To leave, you head west from the gas station, then turn left (south) only to turn right (west) onto westbound Yamato where the only U-turn is a half-mile further on, across four lanes of traffic ignoring the “45 MPH” speed limit, or turn right (north), around the gas station onto southbound Congress where, if you are lucky, you can immediately cross four lanes of traffic ignoring the “45 MPH” speed limit so you can turn back east onto Yamato (and thus, get onto I-95) or you end up in the right hand turn lane for westbound Yamato. But if you are really unlucky, you end up in the middle of the McDonalds across the street where irate customers will be throwing their Egg McMuffins at you and the McDonald's manager is freaking out because your car is blocking the cash registers.
In other words, not only is it not closer, but it's more inconvenient.
I manage to pull up to the pump just as the idiot light chimes on.
It's going to be a long day.