Friday, April 30, 2004

The Gas Station

The Gas Station

I stopped to get gas this morning.

You know that little bracket thingamajig on the gas pump nozzle? the one that holds the handle of the pump down, freeing you to wander aimlessly around the gas station while the machine pumps gas for you?

I got the pump where it was broken off. Who breaks the little doohickey that holds the gas pump handle down? Seriously. We live in a nation of utter savages.

But the problem was not standing there and holding the handle while my truck gassed up. I'm petty. But not that petty.

The problem was the fellow in the big maroon conversion van who was sharing my pump island. He pulled up and parked on the other side of our island, his van rattling to a stop. He got out, holding a two liter Sun Drop bottle. I watched, as I mashed the handle of the gas pump nozzle a little harder, as he started to pour the contents of the bottle into the trash can.

I looked away, off into the overcast sky, just long enough to wonder why the feller didn't just pour the remainder of the Sun Drop on the ground, instead of forcing some gas station attendant later on to carry a trash bag with about a pint of flat, lemony soda sloshing around in it to a dumpster.

I looked back to see how much gas I'd pumped in. I'd let my truck run down to almost on fumes. I realized that I had another problem, in that I had the slowest gas pump in history. I'd just put in about six gallons, and I felt like I'd been there forever, already.

It was only going to get longer. I watched as maroon conversion van guy set the two liter bottle of Sun Drop on the ground, pushed all the appropriate buttons on the gas pump, and bent to start filling his two liter bottle with gasoline.

I thought back to the time Dad was fixing a chainsaw, and he drained the little bit of gas still in it into one of those cheap fast food cups that you get free with a large coke. Well, that little bit of gas started eating that cup like cotton candy. We were able to get everything into a safe container, but not before proving that I come by the name Big Stupid Tommy honestly and genetically.

In his defense, it was one of those things that if you add A and B and C together, you know what'll happen, but it was a quick thinking solution to a sudden problem. And nobody lost any fingers or an eye, so what's the point in complaining?

Anyway. Back to my story. I'm wondering just how well the plastic of a 2 liter coke bottle will stand up to that gasoliney onslaught, when the feller notices that I'm staring. Intently. Maybe a little too intently.

He tops his 2-liter bottle off, and screws the cap on. As he's setting it in the van (on the seat next to him, I see), he looks at me and says "s'alright."

"Huh?" I rebut.

"It's fer muh weedeater."

"Oh," I say.

"The trick is not to confuse which one yer drinkin' with the one fer the weedeater."

"I guess," is all I could say.

"Becuz," he said as he went to pay for his 2 liters of gas, putting a deadpan in his voice that would have made Groucho proud, "you don't want to ruin a weedeater by puttin' Sun Drop in it."

I could only nod.

Zinged again. By a guy in a conversion van putting gas into a soda bottle. And not even 9 in the A.M., and not even through a half a tank of gas.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home