This is true.
Some years ago I left the confines of my home city of Liverpool to live in Wales. The opposite side of Wales to England, and Liverpool. As I was moving because of work after being long term unemployed, I had little money and couldn't afford removal companies to help me. Si I decided that I could save money by doing it myself. I borrowed my Brother in law off my sister for the dumb muscle and hired the biggest, hugest vehicle I could legally drive. It was a monster. Not an articulated wagon, but just as big as many of them.
We loaded it up in Liverpool, which took a few hours, and set off on the journey. I had great fun driving the monstrous beast (Mercedes I think it was) I enjoyed it so much that I forgot all about the 'governer' which would not let me drive at over 60 MPH, and had my foot down all the way. Even going up and down the hills. This had a disastrous effect on the fuel consumption.
By the time we arrived at my new home, the wagon was gasping on fumes and needed a refuel (Had to drive the damn thing back to Liverpool where I had hired it from.) So we quickly unloaded, basically just throwing stuff into the house, it was dark by this time, and went to find a fuel station.
The nearest one I knew of was a local Shell station, which was on the main (and only road) across the island) This was a vital road link as all the traffic heading to Ireland had to travel along it, as well as all the supplies for the island, and of course also used by the local inhabitants.
It is important to remember that in the dark and under yellow lighting, that the colour green looks very like black. Shell stationa had yellow lighting and yellow lit advertising, Diesel is in black pumps and petrol (gasoline) is in green pumps. I chose the wrong pump.
The man who owned the Shell station had a display of flowers for sale outside the office, narrowing the space to the nearest fuel pump, which unfortunately, was the petrol one.
So was it really my fault the wagon was too big to fit through the gap?
I heard a crunch and looking in the mirror was horrified to see that I had clipped the first pump in the row. I could not reverse out due to a ramp. All I could do was press on through and hope no damage would be done. I was wrong. Four fuel pumps, Two stanchions, and a concrete plinth later, I had totalled the Shell garage. Of course being an honest citizen I pulled over to one side to survey the damage, and my brother in law hid under the dashboard out of sheer panic.
I went to the office to apologise and try to explain. The cashier was hopping up and down behind his window, screaming. At this point I decided things were not going too well, and when the cashier got on the phone to his boss, I thought I may need police protection. So I phoned the police to come and rescue me.
Unfortunately as I say this was on the main road so it was exceedingly busy, especially with the Irish ferry in port. Sadly, next door to the Shell station was an old disused hospital in the process of demolition, so to allow machinery in and out there was a temporary traffic light set up.
The police duly arrived, and in the process of the police coming over to interview me, the traffic lights changed to red. Car drivers were rubbernecking to see the maniac who had written off the fuel station. AND they didn't take note of the traffic lights. The resulting pile up outside the Shell garage caused a number of things.
1) it blocked the road thereby almost shutting the entire island down.
2) it made the policeman say words not repeatable here.
3) it made my brother in law scream.
The policeman radioed through to HQ. About twenty minutes later there was the fire brigade to contain the RIVER of escaped fuel (mostly from damaged vehicle which had tailended each other) A fleet of police reinforcements to help the maddened crowd, and also a lot of ambulances to aid the injured and badly shocked folks in the cars.
My words. "OMG this is all my fault"
Policeman's words. "Yes it is"
Shell station owners words. Something in Welsh about Englishmen.
After the dust had settled, I asked if I could still get served. I was refused. But I needed fuel to get back to Liverpool, so I got a police escort to the nearby ESSO station.
While I was in the queue to pay, I heard the following:
"Lots of flashing lights out there, I have seen ambulances, fire engines, and police cars rushing up the road."
"Yes mate, apparently there was a terrorist attack on the Shell garage up the road."
"Yes they say it was probably an IRA attack."
"Good Gawd did they get them?"
"I think they escaped and are fully armed with all kinds of weapons."
I kept very quiet and paid my fuel bill when my turn came. Drove home without a single word from my Brother in law. When my sister got home that night from work, he was already in bed and hiding under the blankets, mumbling "Oh dear god, oh dear god." to himself.
About three months later I paid a visit to my Aunt in Llandudno ( a holiday resort in North Wales) and she introduced me to her new neighbour.
We recognised each other while we were being introduced. His words were "******* **** ***** it's you."
He was the policeman who had arrived at the scene.
Strange how folks around here still remind me of this incident.
We do laugh.............. not.