Monday, July 22, 2013

Presenting Guest Author Carol Kilgore

I'm  delighted  to welcome author, and blogging friend Carol Kilgore. Carol has written Solomon's Compass, and In Name Only. Thanks for sharing this guest post with us today Carol.


A few weeks ago, I noticed the fuel gauge in the car was on EMPTY. I was pretty sure there was a station about a mile to my left.

I was wrong. It was a Sonic. Tots and a slush? Not a good idea.

But I did know where a station was for sure. At the highway – one block down and a mile or two over. I don’t have enough words for the full story, but it includes a dump truck, approaching traffic, and a long hill. You see the picture.

A hundred words later, I pulled to a pump with fumes to spare.

I grabbed my debit card and keys and locked the door, did the card thing and lifted the nozzle, but I couldn’t open the gas tank. So I thought there must be a release button on the dash.

I hung up the nozzle and searched. No button. Nothing on the door or the side of the seat.

On the other side of the pump, a man was filling his truck. “Excuse me,” I said. “I can’t get my gas tank open. Can you help me?”

He tried to open it. Tried to find a button. No success. I didn't feel quite so stupid, even though it was my car. As we rounded the back of the car … I remembered.

When we bought the car, the salesman went over the details. To open the gas tank lid, you press on the left. It popped open!

You’d think that would be enough for one morning. Not quite.

The transaction must have canceled when I hung up the nozzle, and this time the screen asked for my zip code. Numbers and I don’t always get along, and we've lived in umpteen jillion zip codes. With our current zip, I often transpose a couple of the numbers. But it let me pump gas, so all was good.

I was back at the Sonic intersection, and contemplating a slush, when my phone rang.

Husband said, “The bank just called. They want to know if you used your card at someplace called Big Red’s Number Two, if you have your card, or if you’re under duress.”

“I did just use it. The gauge was on empty.”

“That’s what I forgot to do!”

I could picture the expression on his face, and smiled.

I have to digress. Husband is Coast Guard. Semper Paratus … Always Ready. Well, Husband is always ready for a lot of things … but as Always Ready pertains to vehicles, ours are always road ready. 

Whatever makes a car work always works or is quickly repaired. Tires are always safe. Fuel gauges rarely dip below the halfway point.

As life would have it, Mr. Always Ready married the woman who can no longer recall how many times she’s run out of gas, had flat tires, dead batteries, and more. Left to my own devices, fuel and maintenance barely make my list, much less work their way to the top. Until: I. Need. Gas. NOW!

So, back to the story. I told Husband where I filled up and that I had no idea the name of the place. “And I used it twice at the same pump. I couldn't get the gas tank open the first time.”


“So I asked the guy pumping gas next to me, and he couldn't figure it out either.”

"What do you mean you couldn't get the tank open?”

"So I finally remembered the salesman showing us, and then I had to use my card twice. I’m sure that’s what triggered the alert. Or maybe I put in the wrong zip.”

“How could you not know how to open the gas tank? We've had this car two years.”

“I've never put gas in it before.”

So he starts to laugh. “Let me get this straight. You have people who do that for you.”

“Yep. I love my people.”

“Wait. What did you say about the zip code..."

Carol Kilgore is an award-winning author with several short stories, essays, and articles to her credit. Her two novels, Solomon’s Compass and In Name Only, are a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. Carol and her Coast Guard husband live in San Antonio, Texas, with two herding dogs whose mission is to keep them safe from all danger, real or imagined.

You can find Carol and her books here:


  1. Well, I'm not that bad with fueling and having the car ready. I do have a problem when #1 son uses it and forgets to fuel and usually about the time I MUST be somewhere on time.

    I was laughing my ass off as I pictured you and the gas tank. That's only because, my car is in the shop and I have a rental. One of the new Ford Fusions. Yah, we had fun trying to figure out out to put gas in. My son was the first to refuel and calls, how do you get the gas cap open. We went through a list including pushing on the little door--none of which worked. Son had to swallow his manly pride and ask one of the mechanics there. His pride was somewhat restored when it took three to figure it out. And then, once the little door is open, you don't twist off the gas cap, you push the nozzle through the cap. hmm. Okay. I'll be so glad to get my Chevy back.


  2. I think I've only done the gas thing twice in 39 was a new experience each tme as it wasn't the same car. I miss gas pump attendants.

  3. Oh my Carol, what a funny, Murphy's Law story. Yay for "people" who take care of us though! Did you get your slushie? I am an avid diet cherry limeaid fan--- I need a whole separate budget for my Sonic stops. Fun post! :)

    (Waves at Julie)

  4. That's funny. At least you finally figured it out. Now you know!

  5. Julie - Thanks so much for hosting me today. It's a pleasure to blog with you.

    Sia - Must be a Ford thing. Our car is a Taurus.

    Delores - I used to fill up all the time, but since Husband has assumed control, I let him :)

    Julie - Never did stop for that slushie. I like full-strength limeade :)

    Alex - Not likely to forget, either!

  6. Well, you may forget your zip code again, but I doubt you'll ever forget how to open that gas tank. Funny. I hope you have emergency service like AAA to help you if you do run out of gas, the battery goes dead, or a tire goes flat! Great story!

  7. What a great day. Your story made me smile. Isn't it nice that the bank calls when they have question. It makes things a little easier.

  8. I think I end up putting gas in the car about once a year. I always have to look around for the button that opens the tank. And, hey, at least your bank is on top of things. :)

  9. Jan - I agree. That's one thing that's engraved on my brain.

    Yvonne - I was surprised by the bank calling. Which could be a story all its own for another day.

    Luanne - I'm glad about the bank. And to know I'm not the only one that rarely fills her car :)

  10. Oh my, what a day! I hope when you got home, you noticed that it was wine o'clock.

  11. Smile. I don't think you have any idea how relieved I am to find that you have ditzy moments in the middle of your productivity. Perhaps there is hope for me yet.

  12. You are not alone. This thing happens to many people, incl. me.

  13. Ms. Maybe - Definitely!

    EC - I have many ditzy moments. Ditzy days, too. There's always hope!

    Susan - Great to know!

  14. What a priceless story, Carol. The whole time I was chuckling, I was also feeling your pain. Honest. (Do ya know how to start the lawn mower?)

  15. Thanks to everyone for stopping by! I'm sure that Carol will be checking in again over the next few days. I've also enjoyed reading your comments, and I'm still laughing about the lawn mower Susan!


  16. Loved this story. I can relate very very well!

  17. Hi Julie and Carol .. boy you two must have so much fun laughing at each other and with each other ...

    Those days happen don't they .. and are quite often not funny - being stranded in the middle of "nowhere" ...

    I'm more relaxed about those sorts of things now ... but have had my trials and tribulations over the years!! - without a husband around to help fix things for me ...

    Cheers Hilary

  18. It's always great to hear from Carol! Such a funny story and I can definitely relate to days like this. :)

  19. Susan - Lawn mower? I have people for that :)

    Julie - I'll be here. And I'm still laughing over Susan's question, too :)

    Val - Cool. Great to meet you!

    Hilary - Secret: Husband forgets all the things I did by myself all the times he was deployed :) I have run out of gas in a few awkward places before. Life's an adventure! Every day.

    Julie F - That day was an extended blonde episode.

  20. Hi Carol and Julie,

    Yes indeed, I have arrived to dazzle you with my eagerly anticipated comment. Or something like that...

    Oh my and how I can relate to this. Tanks for this tale that makes me realise what a fuel I am. I do remember when I figured out how to open the cap to actually put petrol, or gasoline in my tank, the £10, about $15, filled it up to almost empty.

    Nice one and yes, I figured your chauffeur should have been tending to your predicament.

    I'm now a starstruck fan of you, Carol. And of course, Julie.

    Gary :)

  21. Gary - Thank you for such kind words. You're a true gentleman.

  22. he he - thanks for giving me the laugh for the day. I've had my share of trying to fill cars with gasoline and use debit/credit cards right at the pump. Probably all of your readers can relate to this in one for or another. You are human!!! Enjoyed your post so much. I'll have to try one of your books now.

  23. Mariodacatsmom - Love your name! I'm glad you laughed with me while reading the post. And thank you in advance if you try one of my books. I appreciate it very much. I'm definitely human :)

  24. Carol - I'm having so much fun reading everyone's responses to your story! You are a tough act to follow, so I may have to take the rest of the week off. I'm glad that you'll continue to check-in, and your visit has been greatly appreciated!


  25. Oh, no! What a day. I do feel your pain. (Why, yes, I CAN laugh and feel pain at the same time. *grin*)

  26. Ha! I loved this! (Sorry, but I'm sure you can laugh about it now too)
    You're like me. I don't know the pin to my ATM, because my hubby always gets money for me. LOL

  27. Hilarious! Though not at the time, of course. Keep your people, Carol lol.

    Thanks for hosting Carol, Julie!

  28. Julie - Your great personal stories are my inspiration for this one. Enjoy your time off!

    Linda G - I totally get that. So can I!

    Jennifer - Isn't having people wonderful!

    Rula - I wasn't doing much laughing during the running out of gas part, but as soon as I had fuel, I saw the humor.

    1. Carol - Thanks for the kind words, and it's been a pleasure having you here! I hope to catch up with your fans over the next few days!


  29. I.strugvle.with gas stations these days. I hate those commercials frm.Shell. that are so loud you can't hea your family talking. And they want and other info. I just want to pump my gas and leave

  30. Hi, Carol. Good story! My daughter-in-law and I struggled with how to open the door to her rental car fuel thingee (sorry to get so technical) and couldn't find a button or a lever anywhere inside. After several minutes I opened the passenger door, stepped out and looked. All we had to do was flip the door open. Who knew some things were simple??

  31. Stephen - Obviously I don't have much recent experience with gas stations LOL!

  32. Jan - LOL! We're so accustomed to complex, awkward, convoluted or technical we rarely think simple anymore. It's nice to feel as smart as your car every once in a while :)

  33. I am sooooo guilty of bad car maintenance!!! I'm almost always out of gas. I really should try to keep a full tank. In case the zombie apocalypse starts.



  34. Valerie - Yes, the zombies are going to be a huge problem. What if they like to drink gasoline?

  35. My son has taken over my computer, and now the "gasoline drinking zombies" are threatening to attack?! I thought you were in charge here Carol! Valerie might have to step in for a while. Thanks to all!


  36. Haha, I've definitely had days like that...

    Glad it all worked out, Carol :D

  37. I dread buying a new car for this very reason. I have to travel with the manual at the ready to find out how to make all the things work. Well, you were clever and remembered what to do. That's what counts.

  38. Mark - So am I!

    Lee - This car is more complex than my computer. I still don't know how to operate some of the stuff.

  39. I can't get over how you managed to get other people to fill your gas tank for two years...

  40. Kim - What's more amazing is it's not anything I ever asked him to do. He just does it. Gotta love that man :)

  41. I remember those days when my mom got full-service, everytime she went to get gas. That was a nice amenity. Now, we've a raggedy dressed guy approaching with an offer to help, knowing he wants money for this gesture.


  42. Robyn - Some stations in the last town we lived in had full service and self service pumps. Gas at the full service pumps cost more. I never went to those.

  43. Carol, this is classic!
    I'm a kind of person who wants to get into the car and drive. I can do basics like make sure that there's enough fuel in the car, and check for water and oil.
    But that's about it.
    I have no idea about the technical thinggies... there are professionals who know about those things... it's their job, not mine!

  44. I worry about the gas thing happening one day, as we tend to rent cars frequently when we travel.