I have always been a keen observer of people, places and things, as I find all three endlessly fascinating. You definitely want me on your team, if you're going to play Trivial Pursuit or Charades, particularly if you need expertise on song lyrics, historic events and dates.
So, imagine my shock when this week I learned something that has been in front of me on a daily basis, for perhaps decades, that I've never noticed.
You may think I'm a moron when I tell you, and if you haven't noticed it either, you may think we're both morons. But before we beat ourselves up too much, I'd like to point out something else that virtually no one notices, the number of stairs in your office or home that you climb every day. Of course, there is no need to notice these things, but you probably couldn't tell anyone how many panes of glass are in your kitchen window either.
Anyhow, I was driving along in a rental car with my friend Matt Davis and needed to stop to fill up the tank, before we dropped off the car at the Reno-Tahoe Airport. I did notice that they have changed the name of the airport from Hubbard Field to Cannon International to Reno-Tahoe International, over many years. I told you to pick me for Trivial Pursuit!
As we drove into the gas station, Matt must have noticed me looking into the driver's side rear-view mirror. He asked me, "Do you know how to tell which side the gas flap is on?" I replied, "You look down the side of the car through the driver's side window." Implied in my response was that if you see the flap, you win, and if you don't, it's on the other side.
Sometimes you just can't see the flap. I know where the cap is on my car, but I forget where the flap side on my wife's car and have often driven up to the gas pump from the wrong side. If this happens to you, you can still make the gas hose stretch awkwardly to the other side of the car. I've done that too, feeling a bit foolish all the while.
If you've had this same experience, your life is about to be changed forever when you see Matt's reply. He said, "Every car in the world has a little arrow on the left or right side of the image of a gas pump in the middle of the gas gauge on the dash, which indicates which side the flap is on."
How long this has been going on and why no one has mentioned it to me before? I don't know.
Perhaps everyone else thinks it's pretty obvious.