gas anxiety (RIP missed fart joke opportunity)
All this week, I’ve had gas anxiety.
Not the kind that necessitates you stay near an open window (though that would have been hilarious).
For the last week or two, along certain stretches of the East Coast in the United States, there’s been a gas shortage. Technically speaking, there was plenty of gas. But after the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, people lost their gaht damn minds and went out to panic buy. It became the Great TP Run of 2020 all over again.
And of course due to timing and the universe having a weird sense of humor, I was moving cities right in the middle of all this shit – heading straight into shortage central. It took me visiting five different stations in Nashville just to fill up for my trip to Asheville. Needless to say – I was slightly grumpy, and decided to get enough groceries to comfortably wait out the craziness at my Airbnb.
Meanwhile a local friend in Asheville had reached out to me to ask about plans and talk about getting together.
So a few days ago I wound up on the phone with a mutual friend of mine and my local Ashville friend, C. She bluntly asked me, “Angie did you get in touch with C?”
“I have gas anxiety,” I said.
“You might want to rephrase that one Angie,” she laughed.
Since I pride myself on being able to spot opportunities for a quality fart joke (they’re never NOT funny, y’all), I was pretty pissed that I’d made one unintentionally.
After we shared a good laugh, I clarified. “I have only an 8th of a tank after my drive from Nashville last week. I’ve only been out twice since I got here, once to get cat supplies, and once to get people supplies and food so I could hunker down as needed.”
The grocery store I went to happens to be one of those that also has a gas station in its parking lot, and the line circled the lot, making it hard to actually get to the store. To top it off, there’d already been news stories about people getting in fights or spitting on each other over whose turn it was at the pump, or who cut the other person off.
“I don’t want to get punched at the gas pump,” I told her. “Of course I could just tell [local Asheville friend] that, instead of staying silent until people stop losing their ever-loving minds over gas.”
We were on a video chat, so she simply nodded and grinned at me. We wrapped up our call and I ventured out of my cave to hunt for gasoline. I’m pleased to report I managed to top off my tank without getting punched, tripped, or spat upon.
Then I finally emailed my local friend with a weird explanation/apology of why I’d gone radio silent:
LOL ok you have to forgive my weirdness – I didn’t call or text because I had gas anxiety. Not that I was afraid I’d need to run to the bathroom, but that I’d punch someone (or someone would punch me) at a gas station if I had to go anywhere.Such a stupid reason to hold off on getting in touch, but I am the queen of stupid reasons so hey, at least it’s on brand.Good news… I HAVE GAS (again, the kind that goes in the car, not… well you get it). So hanging out should totally be a thing. I’m at XXX-XXX-XXXX (cell) but I’m easier to reach via email since most days I have my phone on do not disturb while I’m working.
Of course now that I’m topped off and theoretically able to go anywhere, I don’t really want to. I spent the evening researching restaurants to try, only to make myself a sandwich and kick back for another binge session of my current indulgence, Sons of Anarchy.
Maybe I’ll go somewhere tomorrow. I’ve got gas.
If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.