The Hess Report


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The World's Most Exciting Gas Station 

The city gas station across the street from where I work. always has something wacky going on. Sometimes it's a crazed old man who doesn't understand how to use pay-at-the-pump and yells and screams at the clerks in the store. Sometimes it's people who freak out on the outside attendant because they can't buy gas from the fleet fueling station. Often, it's just people being rude and darting in to steal a pump when someone's been waiting patiently for a while, causing horns, load swearing and everyone else looking around nervously and wondering if things are going to get out of hand. As in Bang! Bang! out of hand.

Yesterday, I had to put some gas in the car before I headed home (it's the only station that I don't have to go significantly out of my way to reach). Ooo! Open pump! I quickly pull up to it, but see an "Out of Order" sign across the readouts. Drat. Oh well, at least I'm first in line behind someone else.

The car ahead of me is empty, and the pump attached to the gas tank. An elderly woman shuffles from the pumping stations toward store. The car is a big Chrysler, which means that it's probably the lady's. I've seen this scenario here before. Put nozzle in car. No gas. Why not? P-A-Y-I-N-S-I-D-E. Oh. Go inside. Give credit card (or cash). Back outside. Pump Gas. Go inside. Retrieve credit card (or change).

I was going to be there all afternoon.

Less than a minute later, a hipster kind of dude bopped out of the store, talking on his phone. Could it be? Was I wrong?

Yes! It was his car. The taking-forever-lady had been a false alarm.

So, the guy gets directly into the car. And starts it. Now, what did he forget to do?

I jumped out of my car and run up to his, just as he was starting to put it in gear.

I wrapped on the driver's window.

"You're still connected," I said, and pointed toward the gas pumps.

His eyes got wide. He quickly mouthed "oh my God" and hung up the phone.

He thanked me very much and told me how his day had been crazy, etc.

After he had gone, I pulled up to the pump. As I was getting started, some weird guy shambled up and asked me if I had a quarter to make a phone, which, buddy? They cost more than a quarter now. If you're going to try to scam people, at least get a credible rap. Or ask to use my cell phone, then try to run off with it or something.

Frankly, he's a disgrace to the world's most exciting gas station.

Amendment: Appanently, the world's most exciting gas stations are in Australia.

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