I’d just bought myself a brand new Toyota LiteAce. I was feeling like a million dollars. I had risen in the world of motor vehicle ownership by about one metre. I’d just traded in my Mini Minor panel van for this hot, and I mean really hot van. No rust. No more reliance on the NRMA(A motoring association in our country, that for a yearly subscription supplies roadside service whenever you’re in trouble). With my previous vehicle I was on first name basis with every NRMA man that came to rescue me and I lived in Sydney; a city of about four million people. Well, I might be exaggerating a little bit but I sure got my monies worth for my yearly NRMA subscription.
There is nothing like the smell of a brand new vehicle. It does something to your nostrils. It definitely does something for your self image. I was feeling great. I zoomed everywhere and anywhere in my new set of wheels. There was something absolutely fantastic about owning a brand spankin’ new machine. I had power at my fingertips. I had it made.
But then came THE morning.
It was like any other morning, except that I’d had a late night. I was feeling a little bit under the weather. Late nights can do that to you. Your concentration’s not as slick as it usually is. But you’ve just got to press on. There’s no time to slacken off, and anyway, I had to go to work. In addition to my day job I also had a paper run. So I pulled myself together and went through the usual motions of getting up and getting dressed. I don’t think I ever got to comb my hair and brush my teeth that morning and I nearly forgot my keys and wallet. Before I knew it, I was in the van and on my way.
Still half asleep, I noticed that the needle on my petrol gauge was firmly fixed on the letter E. Now, if it had been my previous car, that wouldn’t have meant a thing, but because this was my new, hot machine I knew exactly what the letter E meant. I made a very important decision that was about to change my day dramatically. I decided to get some gas before starting work. So I pulled in to the nearest service station, filled the tank, paid the attendant and then jumped back in the van. I was starting to wake up. That cool morning air does something good to your lungs. I turned the ignition. All was fine. I was going to have a great day.
Before I’d even reached the exit sign at the station, something started to happen.
My magnificent machine began to act rather strangely. How can I explain? It started to act like a …dare I say this about such a wonderful piece of automotive genius, it… it… began to hop like a kangaroo. And it wasn’t even an Australian vehicle. Being an experienced driver who knows how to deal with motor vehicle idiosyncrasies, I put my foot flat to the floor, leaving palls of blue smoke behind me.
To deliver the papers that morning I hopped from place to place, trailing a continuous cloud of blue smoke. How embarrassing! Thank goodness it was early in the morning, otherwise I would have been in big trouble. On the way home the vehicle would often fail to respond to the accelerator. The power was sucked right out of the engine. The blue smoke became thicker with each kilometre travelled.
Later that morning, an NRMA man (yes, yet again) came to have a closer look at what was going on. Within a few seconds he’d pinpointed the problem. He said, “This vehicle runs on gas doesn’t it?” I replied, “Yes, of course.” He paused for a minute, and then broke the news in the form of a devastatingly pointed question. “Then, how come your tank is full of diesel?”
Simply, your INPUT will determine your OUTPUT, so guard what you PUT IN and you won’t be PUT OUT!!!!!
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