The miracle of the Chanukah gas
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The miracle of the Chanukah gas

Last night the Big Lipowsky experienced a Chanukah miracle.

My friend and I went to the Israel Film Festival in the city and saw “A Matter of Size.” It’s about four overweight Israelis who start a sumo team. It was funny and it had heart. I highly recommend it. Anyway, I was also judging a latke contest at the Jewish Center of Teaneck so the timing would not work out for the bus. And my friend’s car was in the shop. So I had to drive. I realized (as we were leaving) that I had about 30 miles worth of gas left. This made me nervous but we both figured it’d be enough as we were only driving down to Chelsea.

Well, that didn’t take into account the 20 minutes we spent circling around looking for parking. Of course, while we were doing this, I made my friend wear my fuzzy menorah hat and I was blasting Erran Baron Cohen’s (Sascha’s brother) “Songs in the Key of Chanukah.” Anyway, after circling around – and at this point we were 10 minutes late to the movie – we found a garage.

Two hours, 15 minutes, and $30 later, we pull out of the garage with about 15 miles worth of gas left. Really not good but it should be enough to get us to Jersey. Still, I tell my friend to keep an eye out for gas and we’ll stop for a gallon.

I make my way back to the Westside Highway and we don’t see any stations. Then we start seeing signs for the Lincoln Tunnel. Apparently, the road we were on led directly to the tunnel and not the rest of the highway. And wouldn’t you know it? There was a huge traffic jam as it led us back into the city toward the tunnel.

Well, I really didn’t want to take the tunnel. I managed to get out of that mess and back onto the highway. Still no gas stations though and my onboard computer was now displaying only a dash instead of the number of miles until empty.

We pass 125th Street, the George Washington Bridge is visible in the distance. I start wondering aloud about the plausibility of calling AAA on the highway or, even worse, from the bridge. The speed limit is 50. I’m driving 30 to conserve the little gas I have left.

As we begin turning toward the bridge along ginormous curves, I start wondering if my car will make it. I hear some not so good noises and wonder if that’s just the bad road or my car stalling out.

We make it onto the bridge and now it’s do or die (or stall out and call AAA from the bridge and really annoy them and everybody else).

But, like the oil in the Temple lasted eight days for the brave Maccabees, that little drop of gasoline lasted more than eight miles from Chelsea to the first gas station in Fort Lee.

And that is the miracle of the gasoline.

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