Freedom… At What Expense?

This weekend I went home to Windsor for a baby shower, and to visit with my family and friends. Normally, I can catch a ride with a friend and save myself from a horrid 5-hour bus or train ride. This time, though, I decided to rent a car so I could get around Windsor without having to depend on my parents or my best friend, Stacey.

The economy car I was given turned out to be a Ford Taurus. I was hoping for a Toyota Yaris, since that’s what the car rental website advertised, but I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get one. I didn’t really care, a car is a car is a car, in my opinion. A Taurus is the most inconspicuous of vehicles, and I was able to zip down the 401 without drawing attention to myself.

I didn’t have to put gas in the car until I was on my way back up to Toronto last night. I pumped $25 into the gas tank, and figured that would do me fine. Boy, was I wrong. My first mistake was getting gas at the service station in Tilbury. I knew it would be a bit more expensive than an in-town station, but $1.06 a litre?!?!? I’ve never paid that much for gas, and was shocked to see the needle of the gas gauge just barely break the 1/4 tank mark. Even still, I figured that’d be enough to get me home to Parkdale.

Around Brantford, a *ding* sounded and the instrument panel notified me of the “low fuel level” in the tank. Dammit. I take the 403 when I’m driving to and from Toronto, which is normally quicker for me (but doesn’t have any service stations, a fact I didn’t let bother me, until now). I pulled off the 403 and drove into Brantford, hunting for a gas station.

I drove down the main road for a while, and asked an idling motorist at a red light where the nearest gas station was. “One that’s open?” he asked. “Ummm, yeah,” I responded. Like duh. He said to keep driving straight, but that it wasn’t for a while. I drove and drove, all the while cursing the home town of The Great One (Gretzky, for those who don’t know), and finally I said to myself, “The next open establishment, I’ll go in and ask again where the nearest station is.”

I pulled into a Tim Horton’s (of course!) and the girl in the hair net told me the Sunoco up the street should be open. I told her it wasn’t, I just passed by there. Then the baker came out and said the Pioneer down the road will be open, he was sure, since that’s where he buys his smokes. “The door might be locked, but just stand there until they let you in.”

I put ten more bucks in the gas tank and continued on my journey home. That $10 barely budged the needle past the point of “low fuel level”. I was astounded. All in all, I paid close to $90 in gas for my trip home. And that’s on top of the $100 rental fee for the car. BAH!! Not worth it!!!

Almost. (I did enjoy seeing my nephew Evan, seen here advertising Sprite like a pro, along with the rest of my family, and Stace, and Rox.)


3 thoughts on “Freedom… At What Expense?

  1. I actually knew gas would be more expensive on the highway, but I figured the convenience factor would make up for it… NOPE!And yes- I drive. Only people who grew up in Toronto didn’t learn to drive when they were growing up- since they could take the TTC everywhere. If you don’t drive in Windsor, you don’t go anywhere.

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