The Transdimensional Gas Station

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Anonymous

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#1
Hi all! This is my first post on this forum, and before I go any further I should perhaps apologize in advance for any misspellings and deformed sentences; English is not my first language.

The event I´d like to tell you about took place quite a few years ago, in the early nineties. Somehow, I´ve managed not to think about it for all this time. Recently, however (following somewhat of a crisis in my life), I´ve started to realize how fundamentally strange this experience really was, and how deeply it actually affected me. I´ll try to provide as much detail as I can possibly drag from my (admittedly foggy) memory, so bear with me if my account seems windy and overly pedantic.

As far as I remember, my story took place in early July of -93. I was 18 y.o. at the time and worked for the summer at the civic department of the smallish county (kommun) of Mjolby (in mid-eastern Sweden), doing mainly street and park maintenance.

Me and a co-worker had finished work for the day pruning hedges and mowing lawns in a remote community some 10 english miles (15 km) away from our home office, and were on our way back. The road we were driving along (in a Volkswagen mini-bus) went through a quite rural area, fields and scattered bits of pine forest. There were (and still is) only a few, separated farm houses and cottages along the road, which is the only tarmac road in that area – all roads that connects with it along that stretch are either gravel roads or dirt paths. That summer alone, we must have driven along that road at least a hundred times, so we knew it quite well by that time.

After driving approximatively 5-7 kilometres along this road, my co-worker (who was driving) happened to notice that we were running low on gas - in fact, the needle of the gauge didn’t even move from its bottom position. The car was still running smoothly, but we doubted we could run on petrol fumes for another 10 km or so. At this point we had entered one of the few places along the road where it was flanked by woods on both sides (the area is otherwise fairly open, mostly farm land).

The car was equipped with a long-wave radio (this being before the time of mobile phones), so we were discussing whether to radio the home office in case we got stranded and needed some gas brought to us. In the end, however, we decided to keep on driving as long as possible, just in case the gas we had would be enough to take us home. Come to think about it, I seem to remember that that stretch of road lay in some type of radio shadow. The regular radio stations always broke up at some point along that road, although I can’t remember if we had the radio on on this particular occasion.

Anyway, we kept on driving for a few more minutes when suddenly we come upon a small collection of buildings on the right side of the road – a farm house in a pretty dilapidated condition, covered in grubby Eternit plates (I’m not sure of the English name, but it´s an asbestos-like synthetic substance which was used extensively in house exteriors in the 50:s and 60:s). In front of the house, right up against the edge of the tarmac of the road, sat a long, shed-type structure covered in corrugated metal plate and roofed with tar paper. On the short end of the shed, facing the way we were coming from, was an old, orange-striped gas pump. Set into the side of the shed was an open door and a large, grimy window cluttered with cans of motor oil and other stuff. In this window hung a large plastic sign saying, simply, “Gas”.


As I mentioned, we’d both travelled along this road many times, but never noticed this strange-looking gas station before. However, there were no eldritch feeling of strangeness or anything – we simply wrote it off as a trick of the mind that neither of us had seen it before, or had thought about it earlier. After all, sometimes you fail to notice mundane things until you actively search for them. I certainly didn’t reflect much over it at the time, just feeling relieved that we’d be able to get some gas and get home.

We stopped alongside the gas pump, and after finding the mechanism locked with a padlock, I went inside to find whoever ran the place. Inside was a small, square room bisected by a counter, behind which stood shelves with oil cans, bottles of car wax etc. Even though there was only one window, the area was pretty brightly illuminated by a naked fluorescent lamp. As there was no one in sight, I called “Hello” or something and after a while a strange little guy emerged from a door in the back wall. In retrospect, I set his age at about 60-70 y.o, but he could have been somewhat younger, I suppose. When you’re 18 you have a tendency to simply label anyone above age 50 as “old”, I guess?

I distinctly remember he had a brownish Greek-fisherman cap on (you know those with a button on the front?) and that he had those coke-bottle glasses, with thick rims of black plastic. His eyes were magnified to at least twice their natural size by those lenses. I seem to remember he was dressed in a black/white chequered shirt and beige pants, held up by bracers. You got the impression that there’d been a long time since his last bath, as what little hair you could see looked pretty greasy, and his clothes were all grubby and wrinkled.

I told him (I can’t remember the exact words) something along the lines that we needed buy some gas, and he just looked at me for an uncomfortably long time, so I thought he hadn’t understood what I had said. I started to repeat myself, but he cut me off, pretty curtly, after a few words, with a kind of rapid, stuttering manner of speech. Either my memory betrays me, or I never heard just what he said to cut me off. Probably was something like “yesyesmumblemumble” (although in Swedish, of course); and nodding exaggeratedly (sp?) as he talked. He started to rummage around beneath the counter, still muttering indistinctly under his breath, and finally produced a key on a piece of string. With the key held out/up on a straight arm (a really odd gesture), he came out from behind the counter with some speed and pushed (quite rudely) past me out through the door. He had this strange, sort of lurching kind of locomotion you sometimes see in old alcoholics (an observation I only made years later, in another job).

Anyway, he unlocked the pump and we drew perhaps 150 SEK worth of gas (which took a long time, since the pump was ancient and weak). The old guy stood and looked on, all the while rocking from side to side, almost like he had some motorical dysfunction or something. My friend and I just sort of looked at each other several times, not knowing what to make of this guy. Once the car was filled up, we pooled our loose cash and just piled it in the hands of the old guy until he seemed satisfied. Once he’d put the money away in a pocket of his pants, he withdrew a wad of blank receipts from a breast pocket, filled one out very carefully with a ballpoint, and handed it over. My friend took it without a word and put it in his wallet, and we said goodbye, got into the car and left, rather quickly. While we were turning onto the road once again, the old guy walked out to the edge of the tarmac, waving both hands in the air (in a good-bye gesture, I guess).

When we drove away, I lent forward and looked in the side mirror, seeing him in the distance, still waving and rocking to and fro.
We didn’t really speak a lot on the way home, but there was no feeling that something was amiss or anything. The only strange thing that happened was that the car started to run raggedly just a few kilometres after leaving the gas station, the engine misfiring in the manner it does sometimes when one or more cylinders fail to ignite (anyone who’s owned a Volkswagen will recognise the phenomenon). We commented on it and said that the old guy probably gave us diesel instead of 96-octane petrol. Indeed, the car’s exhaust gradually turned into a thick black smokescreen trailing behind us, like it does when you pour diesel into a petrol car.

By the time we arrived at our home office, the car coughed and spluttered constantly, so we took it to the civic department’s repair shop, by now convinced that we had been sold diesel instead of petrol, and rather pissed because we’d have to empty the gas tank by hand (which is quite messy). A guy at the repair shop helped us out with a hand-pump, emptying the gas tank into a large plastic tub. The stuff we pumped out of the tank was neither pinkish (as petrol) nor clear (like diesel oil), but a milky, opaque orange. It didn’t smell right, either, but almost sweet, like turpentine.

The repair guy (an old fox who probably knew everything there was to know about mechanical stuff) commented that the fluid looked like something called “war-time gasoline”. Apparently, during WWII, petrol was scarce, and an alternative needed. The solution was produced by a crudely refined fuel oil mixed with turpentine (or perhaps ethanol), on which old petrol engines could be run, albeit not very smoothly.

The guy asked us where we’d got the gas, and we told him, chuckling, about the strange gas station, even adding that we’d never noticed it before. Now, I really expected the guy (as he was really familiar with all the strange people of the area) to laugh along with us and tell us all about this strange old guy we’d met. Instead, he looked totally confused and said something like: “What gas station?”, and it was like a bubble had burst.

All of a sudden I was overwhelmed by how strange it was that we’d never seen this gas station before, and I became increasingly certain that, on every previous time we’d driven along that road, it hadn’t been there at all! Glancing at my friend’s face, it was obvious he was thinking the same thing.

We started asking the repair guy if he was really certain about this, and so on, but he maintained that, as far as he was aware, there was no gas station on that stretch of road. He actually began to look quite spooked as my friend and I became more and more agitated.

Eventually we left to change out of our work clothes and decided to take my friends car, drive back the way we came from and see if we could find the gas station. We actually drove the entire way back to the town we´d worked in that day, and back again, without ever coming upon the small open area where the gas station had been. It´s difficult to describe the feeling we had when we returned, we both were spooked, scared and exhilirated (sp?) all at the same time, you know? I sat in the passenger´s seat with the reciept we´d got from the strange old guy, and to me that mundane piece of grubby paper just seemed to emanate an almost palpable strangeness. I had some serious trouble sleeping for several nights after this, spending lots of my waking time going over this in my head.

We actually did a bit of research in the days following this experience, talking to 5 or 6 people we worked with and who we knew had a good knowledge of the area and its history, but no one had ever heard of this gas station, nor had there ever been a gas station there at any time within the last 50 years, either. Since our questions led us nowhere, we lost interest after a while and life continued on a normal. At the end of that summer, I left the area for school and didn´t think about it for a long time. Occasionally, I´d get flashbacks, and feel again that falling sensation of strangeness, but I still managed to distance myself from that memory. I certainly didn´t tell anyone else about my experience. I did, however, keep the receipt and still have it to this day.

Several years later ( I believe in -95 or -96) I got into a discussion with my maternal grandfather (who had lived and worked in this area) and told him the story. He responded by saying that he´d had a "strange experience" on that same road, when working as a book-courier in the 60:s or 70:s, but refused to say anything else (he was a devout Baptist, and not comfortable discussing this type of thing). I tried several times to get him to tell me what it was he had experienced, but whatever it was, he took it with him to his grave when he died in -98.

This was the situation until early spring this year, when certain changes in my life prompted me to return to and attempt to resolve my feelings concerning this experience. I´ve finally realized just how much this has affected me, and how big an impact it has had on the way my life turned out. I mean, it´s hard to feel certainty of anything after an experience like this, isn´t it? Anyway, earlier this year I had the opportunity to return to "my old haunts" (heh) for a few days, and found myself with some time on my hands, so I decided to try to investigate the matter one more time. I drove along that road at least 10 times in a few days, but still saw no gas station. I were, however, able to find out who owned that stretch of woods where I believe the station appeared to us. Sadly, this turned out to be another blank, as the family I talked with had never heard of any gas station anywhere along that road.

So, I realize this post is probably a bit longer than it deserves, but I´ve made an effort to be as precise as possible and to incorporate every detail that I can trawl from the murky waters of my memory.

I do have a few ideas as to what really happened that day, but I´d like to hear the opinions of the forum before I post those. That´ll probably become just as massive a post as this one.

Let me know what you think!

Regards,
David
 

Timble2

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#2
Great story, a favourite Fortean theme of mine is the stories about restaurants, hotels, shops and in your case a gas station that seem to have slipped in from another time, or exist in some tangential universe.

Oh, and welcome.
 

hokum6

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#4
Good story, love this stuff.

The classic timeslip is the family on holiday who stay in a quaint old hotel where everyone is dressed in old fashioned clothing and in the morning they pay a tiny amount of money. On returning to the area, they can't find any trace of it. Their story has been featured in loads of TV shows and books. If my memory serves correctly, they even mentioned taking photos of the place which all came out blank when developed.

The creepiest tale I ever heard was a group of teenagers driving along a motorway in the US. They noticed a bizarre vehicle behind them, which pulled up next to a building. They stopped too, and these creatures appeared from the building and began chasing them.
I've no idea if that was a sci-fi story or not, I found it on some website a while ago, but it was certainly interesting. If someone has a link that would be good because there's loads of weird details I can't recall.
 

hokum6

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#7
http://www.rense.com/general/utah.htm

Yeah, that's it. Unsurprisingly, my summary was pretty off the mark, so just ignore that. :)
Freaky story. I'd be interested to know how much 'truth' there is to it. Easy way of checking would be to contact the Utah Highway Patrol and ask whether they ever had a Vic Lundquist work for them, then contact him.
 

mossy_sloth

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#8
You know what I think is the most impressive thing about this story? The fact that you kept the receipt and still have it. That really goes a long way (in my opinion anyway) in discounting a lot of the usual explanations for this sort of thing. Would it be possible to get an expert to look at the handwriting? Maybe see if a time frame can be established? (can this be done? I know ancient documents are dated paleographically, have no idea if the principle is valid in modern times...)

Incredible story!

And btw, I think your command of english is far better than many native english speakers I know. I thought "deformed sentences" was a wonderful turn of phrase! (although I certainly didn't notice it as a characteristic of your writing!)
 
A

Anonymous

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#10
Mythopoeika said:
Fascinating story!
Perhaps you experienced a temporary slip into a parallel dimension where a gas station existed?
Or maybe 'the fairy folk' have technology and culture similar to our own?

Could you post a photo of the receipt slip, please?
Yes, I´ll dig it out and scan it just as soon as I get home again (I´m travelling at the moment.

/D
 
A

Anonymous

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#11
hokum6 said:
http://www.rense.com/general/utah.htm

Yeah, that's it. Unsurprisingly, my summary was pretty off the mark, so just ignore that. :)
Freaky story. I'd be interested to know how much 'truth' there is to it. Easy way of checking would be to contact the Utah Highway Patrol and ask whether they ever had a Vic Lundquist work for them, then contact him.
That´s a really good story, thanks for sharing it! It´s fascinating that certain areas seem more prone to "spilling over" into other times and places. I´ll have to look up this valley on Google Earth..:)

/D.
 
A

Anonymous

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#12
mossy_sloth said:
You know what I think is the most impressive thing about this story? The fact that you kept the receipt and still have it. That really goes a long way (in my opinion anyway) in discounting a lot of the usual explanations for this sort of thing. Would it be possible to get an expert to look at the handwriting? Maybe see if a time frame can be established? (can this be done? I know ancient documents are dated paleographically, have no idea if the principle is valid in modern times...)

Incredible story!

And btw, I think your command of english is far better than many native english speakers I know. I thought "deformed sentences" was a wonderful turn of phrase! (although I certainly didn't notice it as a characteristic of your writing!)
Thank you!

I´ll get back to you in a few weeks with a picture of the slip. Perhaps someone knows what to look for, in regards to paper type etc?

/D.
 

rynner2

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#13
Diabolik8 said:
Fascinating account Aouroborous!
Nods energetically.

In UK there are loads of resources for researching local history. The local library is always a good place to start - apart from specialised local history books, they may well have old copies of the local papers on microfilm, and even old maps and charts, showing old road layouts and including buildings that no longer exist.

Since your repair guy seemed pretty definite about this fuel being a war-time product, then the war years would be a good time frame for initial research.

And I never heard of this type of fuel before, but perhaps the oil companies have some info on it - you could try contacting their publicity departments and see what records they have.

And of course the internet may well have some info.

About the payment and the receipt - has Swedish currency changed at all since the war years? How much were you charged?


Of course, I don't really know what you will eventually get out of all this.
Supposing you discover that yes, there was such a gas station on that road between certain years, but it closed down decades ago - then (as with so much Fortean stuff) so what?! :shock: We cannot explain it, but your clear and detailed account is still valuable.

It remains for now a fascinating anomaly
 

rynner2

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#14
I tried this Google search on fuel.

Haven't had time to look at all the links but this one
http://koal.cop.fi/rme-1.html
mentions this:
The use of Biodiesel is particulary of interest in ecologically sensitive areas, as it is biodegradable and does not cause damage to groundwater contrary to mineraloil based Diesel fuel. Furthermore engineemissions can be reduced by using Biodiesel.

The idea to use RME (Rape Methyl Ester) or FAME (=Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) as a Diesel fuel substitute is not quite new. Here are some historical items:

It was produced during World War II already because of diesel shortage.
In Austria it was discussed again in the seventies during the socalled "oil-shock"
In 1986 the Wieselburger Landtechnik (Austria) started intensive studies about use and practicability of Biodiesel
Since 1990 Austria produces RME in big scale
In 1993 about 25.000 metric tons of RME were produced (which is about 1% of diesel consumption in Austria)
Which confirms that diesel substitutes were used in the war, as the repair guy said.
 
A

Anonymous

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#15
rynner said:
Nods energetically.

In UK there are loads of resources for researching local history. The local library is always a good place to start - apart from specialised local history books, they may well have old copies of the local papers on microfilm, and even old maps and charts, showing old road layouts and including buildings that no longer exist.
Those are good ideas, I havn´t made a library study yet.

rynner said:
About the payment and the receipt - has Swedish currency changed at all since the war years? How much were you charged?
Swedish currency has changed quite a bit over the years, but as far as I remember we paid in relatively modern bills and coinage, and he seemed happy with it. I believe we paid, roughly, 150 SEK, which is not unreasonable for half a tank of gas at the prices at the time.

Concerning your post on diesel substitutes - Nice work! I´ve never seen an official source even so much as mention it before.

Thanks!

/D.
 

Mythopoeika

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#16
In the UK, petrol of this description was on sale for quite some time after WWII. As far as I can remember, a strongly coloured dye was added to it.

I found this random quote about the reasons:

Talking abut the war - 1939 - 45: A Personal view of the war in Britain by Anne Valery ISBN 0-7181-3391-9
"Initially cars had a basic petrol ration but in 1940 this was abolished except for special cases such as doctors & the heads of emergency services. In order to stop black marketeering or misuse, petrol for farm machinery was dyed & police would dip-stick tanks to check that there had been no siphoning off. My great-uncle, a farmer whose lone machine had broken down,had the bright idea of boring holes in the back of his ancient Austin Seven, through which my prone great-aunt pushed seed as he drove up & down the fields. However because this was a car, although never used on the road, my uncle feared that he would be prosecuted for using the dyed petrol."

So, perhaps it could've been an agricultural filling station?
 

meowfur

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#17
Mythopoeika said:
So, perhaps it could've been an agricultural filling station?
Even so...why did it disappear?

This was a terrific story, Aouroborous, thanks! Gave me goose bumps.
 

deke3

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#18
What a fantastic story! And a real pleasure to read such a well written account. Your skill with the English language is better than most English born speakers :D .

If this story is true I envy your brief glimpse into something beyond the mundane.

You mention that this event has troubled you deeply on some level- has affected your perception of reality. Do you wish this had never happened?
 
A

Anonymous

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#21
deke3 said:
What a fantastic story! And a real pleasure to read such a well written account. Your skill with the English language is better than most English born speakers :D .
Why, thank you! :oops:

deke3 said:
You mention that this event has troubled you deeply on some level- has affected your perception of reality. Do you wish this had never happened?
I suppose not - not having had this experience would have made my life smaller and less intricate. Sometimes, though, I just feel the memory lying there like an unclosed wound, or an unscratchable itch, you know?

I´ve actually decided to do a more thourough investigation into the area and its history, just as soon as I can find some time.

D.
 
A

Anonymous

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#22
Redhead666 said:
That's incredible!

I want something like that to happen to me!!
It feels a bit like being a barn-bred chicken looking out through the barn door for the first time and seeing the world outside, you know? You almost (but not quite) wish you´d never peeked.....:)

/D.
 

rynner2

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#23
Aouroborous said:
I´ve actually decided to do a more thourough investigation into the area and its history, just as soon as I can find some time.
Don't forget to let us know the results!

One thing I can say, regardless of the results, is that you'll find the search fascinating and informative anyway.
 

markbellis

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#24
The gas that was in your tank sounds like stale gasoline - there are photos in this link.

http://www.alpharubicon.com/altenergy/gaslifepal.htm

In the countryside in Canada, it's not at all unusual to see old gas pumps in the country on farms, machine shops and other places, even homes - I think that in earlier days people often kept their own supply of gas when they lived outside of cities. You might have just happened onto a place that had gone out of business and you were the last customer before they knocked it down.

Best,

Mark
 

Redhead666

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#25
Mark, I think he wrote that he returned on the same day to look for the station. How could it ( and all traces of it) have disappeared in that time frame? Impossible.
 
A

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#26
Redhead666 said:
Mark, I think he wrote that he returned on the same day to look for the station. How could it ( and all traces of it) have disappeared in that time frame? Impossible.
That is correct, although the observation Mark makes about small privately-owned fuel stations is interresting. It may explain why I can´t any gas station noted in the brief check of historical records I´ve made of the area.

The fact that it may have been stale petrol, may also be important somehow. Definitely worth keeping in mind! Thanks!

/D.
 
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#27
Fantastic post - brilliant story telling manner you write in!

Here's my thoughts when I read it....

I have always thought that just when you really really need something, someone / thing will make it turn up. It would never appear if you weren't desperate, but on those special rare occasions, something helps you out. (ummm... sorry, can't seem to explain what I want to say)

I think not necessarily a 'time-slip' but perhaps a group of 'universal watchers' who look out for people who need help. These 'watchers' saw you were running out of gas (or picked up the 'vibe' that you were), and so decided to place a petrol station just where you needed it; however these watchers decided that a brand spanking new petrol station would look out of place, so an old, weird guy with a home-style petrol pump would fit the surroundings best.

ummm... does this make sense? I suppose it could be a bit like harry Potter's 'room of requirement'...

It would be interesting to hear if anyone else in the world has been in a similar situation, and see if the description fits the man you saw...?!

Hope this makes sense; perhaps someone who's brain is working could interpret my reply!!

Cheers
 

rynner2

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#28
joelarkins1 said:
I have always thought that just when you really really need something, someone / thing will make it turn up. It would never appear if you weren't desperate, but on those special rare occasions, something helps you out.
There are also Guardian Angel stories who save people in much more dire situations than just 'running out of gas'!

The problem with all these stories is why do some get lucky and have a Handy Helper behind them, while millions of others suffer all kinds of horrible tribulations? To say that some are helped or saved from death because they have an important destiny to fulfill seems too much like tinkering with history to me. Perhaps the original destiny was not too well planned, and the HHs are just trouble-shooters sent in to tidy up the loose ends? (Like programmers trying to debug a program or website... ;) )

On the whole, timeslip seems almost simpler.

Or, all of the above!
 
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#29
Perhaps we're just characters on some sort of incomprehensible board game played by the gods.

God 1: Your throw, God 2. I don't fancy your character's chances much. He's stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no gas.

God 2: Enough with the gloating already. I haven't lost yet!

(God 2 rolls dice)

God 2: A six! He moves his character forward six squares. Aha! A Chance square!

(A shimmering pack of cards materialises beside God 2)

Banker: God 2 - you may draw a single card from the top of the pack.

God 1 (looking angrily at banker) I swear you're making up these rules as you go along! Chance square, indeed!

God 2 (draws card, turns it over and reads it): Aha! Magic Gas Station! How do you like them apples, God 1?

God 1: That's so unfair! Some people have all the luck!

God 2: We are but the pawns of fate, God 1. Roll with the punches. The game's not over yet...
 

Redhead666

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#30
rynner said:
joelarkins1 said:
I have always thought that just when you really really need something, someone / thing will make it turn up. It would never appear if you weren't desperate, but on those special rare occasions, something helps you out.
There are also Guardian Angel stories who save people in much more dire situations than just 'running out of gas'!

The problem with all these stories is why do some get lucky and have a Handy Helper behind them, while millions of others suffer all kinds of horrible tribulations? To say that some are helped or saved from death because they have an important destiny to fulfill seems too much like tinkering with history to me. Perhaps the original destiny was not too well planned, and the HHs are just trouble-shooters sent in to tidy up the loose ends? (Like programmers trying to debug a program or website... ;) )

On the whole, timeslip seems almost simpler.

Or, all of the above!
Interesting theories!
But what if......

What if ( like I have read about and pretty much believe) it was all in his "blueprint" to run out of gas that day in that place and "he" himself, made the gas station appear and then disappear?

How you ask?
Well, as I said, I have read that we all make up a blueprint before we are born of what our life will be like. We choose our own paths, the people we will know, our hardships, our lucky moments, everything. If this were true, who's to say he didn't put it in his blueprint that he would run out of gas there and would find a station that would disappear again?

You may be laughing and think I've lost all my marbles, but is it any more ridiculous than a disappearing gas station? Nope, it isn't.
None of it is ridiculous....it's just stuff that happens.
:)
 
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