Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gas Station vs Me

So what the fuck is up with this?!?

I go to fuel up my car this foggy morning. I happen to stop at a 7-11 which has a gas station. First off, the pumps look weird. They’re low slung. Low to the ground. Second, the nozzle seems short. About 6 inches shorter than I’m used to seeing. I set it and prepare to forget it. I start walking to the squeegee bucket hanging from the side of a nearby pump when I hear the clank clank of metal on concrete. I turn around and see the hose and nozzle assembly on the ground, a small amount of gasoline dribbling out. I whisper a curse and re-set the nozzle. It takes this time.

I resume my trek to the squeegee station. As I’ve seen at other stations in recent months: the bucket’s filled with water…no soap, just water. And, as has been my luck lately, no paper towels. So I clean my windshield sans towel and I’m reminded of a move I’d seen a family friend make while making some household repairs some years back. He needed to blow his nose and had no hanky around so he squeezed a nostril and launched a nose goblin to the ground. You do what you can with what you have.

At this point, I hear the click of the pump indicating it has completed the fueling process. I approach my car. The hose and nozzle assembly chooses this moment to test my reflexes as it jumps from my car’s refueling port and drops to the ground. Of course, I get splattered with gasoline.

Then to top things off, I go to gather my receipt when the automated pump smiles it’s LED smile at me and says, “See attendant for receipt.” So I go inside. I was planning on getting a cuppa coffee anyway.

I first stop at the counter. Two clerks are putting away inventory, each trying to avoid eye contact with me in hopes of having the other one help me. One of them, a dumpy, double-chinned, inbred clerk, finally gives in and approaches me. I ask her for my receipt and tell her my pump number. She looks at me and asks, “Uh…how much was it?” I tell her that I was unsure of the amount. I seem to remember telling her the pump number sometime in the not to distant past. She looks at the console and rattles off a number, in the form of a question, which sounds about right. I look at her and, after a pause, I say “…sure.”

I go to get my coffee, pay for it and the gasoline and make my way onto work. Just my luck. “Alex, I’ll take Pump #2 for $1.95.” Oh, wait, I meant to say was “What is $1.95?” That’s it’s. That’s what I meant to say.


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