366 Days: March 23

Friday, March 23 — It has been longer than a decade since I’ve heard of someone who has had sugar poured into his gas tank. That streak ended on Friday.

No, it wasn’t me. Thank God.

Pulled into the 7-11 in Tumwater, just before you turn onto Interstate-5, to fill up and get a drink. On the other side of the pump, a guy was working on his fuel cap to his Lexus. His girlfriend was on the phone inside the car.

I filled up and got my drink. When I was walking back, the guy said Hi and then told me, “Some hater poured sugar into my gas tank.”

Well, it wasn’t just a little bit of sugar — it was a half a bag filled in. The entire gas cap entrance was caked with sugar and the guy was having trouble scraping it off the inside chamber. It looked like it had crystalized and sealed itself to the metal inside.

I gave him some paper towels and tissues from my car to help him out. I’m not too sure how much help that was, but hey.

The guy told me and a few others that he found a bunch of the sugar on the side of his car and on the ground. Also, since his car was unlocked, they were able to pop open the gas cap door to get to the gas tank. Then, when they were all done, they left a half of C&H sugar bag (I believe one of those big 5-pound bags) on the front seat… Almost like a parting gift.

From what I’ve read, the worst that will happen is that the guy’s car is going to be sluggish and run like shit for a while. Before I left, he told me that he was going to put in just enough gas to get it to the shop. The gas tank was filled with sugar with little to no gas in it, apparently. That’s why he was at 7-11… (Honestly, if you had just enough gas to get to 7-11, did you have just enough gas to get to the shop?)

• So, what should you do if you get sugar poured into your gas tank? Take it to the shop. You’ll have to get the gas tank drained and cleaned out. In all, it’ll save you a ton of money just to get it to the shop and have them deal with it. The sugar won’t dissolve in gasoline, so there’s no way for the sugar to get into your engine and crystalize, as the theory goes. It is, however, a pain in the ass to clean out. That’s why you take it to the shop. Or, if you are a handi-mechanic like most of the world is (I’m not, admittedly), you can take care of it yourself.

Snopes talks about it and disproves the common belief that a 5-pound bag of sugar can destroy your engine.

Friday night’s Sounders match: I made my first appearance at CenturyLink Field of the season to take in a Sounders FC match. Houston came into town and (the former San Jose Earthquakes/Shock) sported its orange creme jerseys. Next to the Sounders’ Rave Green, it is a fluorescent sight to wonder/fear/get new glasses for.

The teams employed two very distinct offensive styles — Seattle w/a possession, middle attack that tries to break down the defense; Houston w/an attack down the flanks and crosses into the box for their taller forwards & midfielders.

With that in mind, Seattle struck when it got a corner kick off a middle attack. The ball went back to newly minted wunder-forward David Estrada, whose return volley deflected off defender Geoff Cameron for the match’s first goal. It was later ruled an own goal, which was a tough call on that. Then, about 15 minutes before the match finished, the decision was overturned again and Estrada got credit.

The second goal, four minutes after Estrada’s goal, came on another corner — a foul in the box, a PK by Brad Evans and a rocking 2-0 lead after 26 minutes. Patrick Ianni was “low-bridged” by a Dynamo defender to set up the penalty kick.

After halftime, Seattle took control in the midfield and Houston spent the entire half chasing the ball. In fact, it was a bit of a lull in the action — the Sounders played keep-away so effectively, the pace of the match ground to a halt.

After the final whistle, I took my leave. And to the Seattle police officer I made mad by going the wrong way accidentally, I’m sorry and please don’t send me a ticket.

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