THE WEATHER HAS BEEN HORRIBLY LATELY, with an unnatural amount of rain, snow and ice. So it was no suprise this morning when we woke up to a land covered in a sheet of ice and snow. Unfortunately garages are rare, so that means that this morning began with an aggressive scraping of the ice off of the little BMW.
On my way to work I decided I was a little low on fuel, so popped into a gas station. That’s when the trouble started, because my car’s fuel door was entombed in a casket of ice.
I have a push-to-release fuel door, and while parked next to the fuel pump I pushed it, and it didn’t give a millimeter. It was completely caked in ice inside and out. I managed to scrape the ice off of the door, and pushed again, harder, but it still wouldn’t release. I used the only tool I had – my keys – to try to scrape the ice as best as I could from behind the fuel door, but darned if it still wouldn’t release. It seemed, I dunno, stuck somehow.
AFTER ABOUT 10 MINUTES SOMEONE AT THE NEXT PUMP TOOK PITY ON ME, and happened to have a small spray bottle of antifreeze in his car. He came over and started to spray around the fuel door and as I watched the ice melt away I figured that would do the trick, but still no release. He handed me the bottle left to fill his tank and go pay, and when he came back he found me there still holding a now nearly empty bottle of antifreeze and still prying at my fuel door wondering how it is there could still be ice stuck behind it. After a while my new friend decided he had better things to do and gave up, but he was nice enough to alert the gas station attendant inside that there was a big dumb American in the parking lot clogging the fuel pump because he couldn’t get his fuel door open.
SHE RUSHED INTO ACTION, taking a liter of water from the glass cooler in the gas station and warming it up, and a few minutes later came out with a piping hot bottle of water. She emptied the entire bottle of water over and into my fuel door. There was no physical way there could possibly be any ice left after that, so she stood back and motioned to the door, and I pressed again….and nothing. Stuck.
I looked at her and she and me, and she frowned, scratched her head. I was thinking about how I must have damaged the door somehow when I was prying at it, and that I was going to need to drive to the dealership when it opens in a few hours and have them take a look, and thinking about how this was going to throw off my work day when I heard her ask, “Ist es verschlossen?” Wait a moment…mentally translating….’Is it locked?‘
“Nein”, I said out loud emphatically. It couldn’t possibly locked, I’m not stupid. And just to prove it, and I took my keys out of my pocket and hit the unlock button on the key fob.
And the fuel door popped open.