I left very early in the morning, before any of the girls were up; and drove straight to Avis. The lady was rather rude and unhelpful, and by the looks of it, I was going to have to pay $160 to keep this shitty car for one more day
I thought about it for a while, and finally decided that it wasn’t worth it. I would return the car, and then try to get a bus to Fort Pierce, which was my next halt. I was prepared to even hitchhike if the need arose.
The second time I went to the counter, the lady seemed to be in a better mood, and said that she could reissue my contract so that I would need to pay only $60, but I would have to stick to the shitty car. I thought this wasn’t such a bad deal, so I took it and continued my journey without cruise control.
I had been driving on the freeway almost the entire time yesterday, and I was tired of it. Since I had got my hands on a map of Florida, I decided to take the roads less traveled.
Dear reader, you might remember an ad that used to come quite often on AXN a long time ago. It featured a guy driving his car, with the fuel indicator almost touching empty. He passes by a gas station, but just drives away with a wicked smile on his face and in the background you can hear, “AXN – Need that buzz!!!” If such a guy ever existed in real life, we would gladly welcome him in the Breakdown Gang.
Coming back to my story, you must have guessed already that the fuel indicator of my car had gone too far left. There were about 4 millimetres between its current position and “E”. Unlike the guy in the ad, I didn’t drive past the next gas station. I parked, went inside, bought water, bought a sports drink, got back into the car and then drove off. If you have a keen sense of observation, you would have realised by now that I didn’t fill gas.
How was I supposed to know that I would now be driving through some remote parts of America with HUGE ranches on both sides, but no gas stations for the next god-alone-knows-how-many-miles?!! As the needle got closer and closer to “E”, and with my stupendous track record, I had given up all hopes of making it to the next town. My mind was rapidly thinking of contingency plans. With no cell phone, no food, and one vehicle passing by every 20 minutes or so, my options were limited to say the least. I would have to try and somehow flag down a car. Whether anyone would stop for a random brown guy was a different question altogether.
When the emergency signal came on, I knew that I could only go for another 10 miles. I was preparing to spend the night in the car, and just then it came – the Yeehaw Junction (it really exists, Google it if you like). There was a gas station there, and an imminent breakdown was averted by the skin of my teeth.
The rest of the journey till Fort Pierce was smooth, albeit without cruise control. At Fort Pierce I went to Nancy’s house, who was a nice, hospitable woman with 2 adorable dogs. We chatted for a bit, before calling it a day.