“Life lesson through a red gas can, its spout, and cap”
As a child, I often found myself in precarious situations; sometimes hovering all around decisions that could have been interpreted as completely rational or overwhelmingly feckless. I am sure all of us have made a few errors in judgement figuring out life. My dad had a background is sociology and psychology, so you definitely couldn’t get away with much when it came time to give answers for irrational behavior. He didn’t have any cognital deficiencies, so you could never “pull the wool over his eyes,” although I would be lying if I said that I didn’t give it many valiant efforts.
Now, all in all, I was a pretty good kid that on rare occasions would have momentary lapses in good judgement. I am sure none of my readers on this blog ever had those moments (smiling). Throughout those childhood years, I had about every piece of motorized machinery with wheels, but I especially loved riding that first four wheeler I got at seven years old. It was the first Polaris in Linden that I knew of and for some reason they designed it with floorboards that wouldn’t touch my feet. Who needed rear brakes anyway? I had the front brakes and throttle up top on the handlebars. Also a design flaw, because I could barely wrap my little fingers around that brake lever, but I had no complaints whatsoever about the throttle design (lol). That Polaris Trailboss 250 was no kids toy as it was designed for adults; atleast that’s what the sticker said.
I could hardly wait to get home from school to jump on that thing to make it live up to its true name (Trailboss). With childlike hastiness, I would walk into the garage and anxiously grab the plastic red gas can with the Go-Go juice so I could drop a splash and get on my merry way. Now back then gas cans were designed a little bit different and often times, the little black cap on the fuel spout would somehow come up missing and of course, I would always get the blame. My dad purchased enough replacement cans, caps, and spouts that I think Chilton owes him a few capital gains somewhere.
Now, when I would lose these caps, my dad would get so upset that his face and ears would turn the same color as the fuel can and I had no idea why losing something so small could result in so much restriction. I spent so many hours of my youth grounded or suspended from riding “ole blue” from those lost gas caps that I would ask my friends parents for their gas caps to avoid the solitary confinement of my room even when I wasn’t on restriction.
I figured if I created my own little stockpile when I was paroled, it would buy me and “ole blue” a little freedom at some point down the line. That worked quite a few times until one day I finally realized the easiest thing to do was just pop the cap back on before we took off. What a simple concept that would likely make my dad happy and give me permanent exile from punishment; at least as it pertained to that particular situation.
Such a simple expectation that I chose to make so difficult. Seems to be fairly logical to expect if someone gives you something; to return in the same manner as it was given. It took me a while and many whimpers, but I finally figured it out. Through that little red gas can and that devious black cap; I learned expectations of life. Social responsibility, temperance, stewardship, accountability, prudence, honesty, obedience, and even a little entrepreneurship. I am happy to finally accept guilt for all of the missing gas caps and if I owe any of you one that may have been presented as just a loaner, I apologize and hope you understand. 🙂