Posted by Danny
I just wanted a tank of gas. That’s all.
Yesterday I pulled up to the WILCO and climbed out of my car. I was in a hurry – when am I not in a hurry? I had 12 minutes before the sitter needed to leave – she has a Monday night class. But I couldn’t wait any longer – the “get your butt to the gas station” light had been on for over 30 miles.
I got out of the car and inserted my credit card.
PLEASE ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE PLEASE ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE PLEASE ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE
It is the same zip code as the gas station. Why, why does WILCO need to know my zip code? Are they sending flowers?
Exasperated I entered 2-7-6-0-7…and waited. But nothing happened. I watched the tiny screen, my lifeline to my future.
Finally…What? My new friend scolded me.
YOU DID NOT HIT THE ENTER BUTTON AFTER YOU ENTERED YOUR ZIP CODE STUPID! RE-ENTER IT AND PRESS THE GREEN ENTER KEY. AND DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! I TOLD YOU THAT THE FIRST TIME – PAY ATTENTION!
I made my second attempt pressing the buttons with the vigor of a boxer in a championship bout. Take that!
DO YOU WANT A DRINK?
Now you’re worried about my comfort? Yes – there are drink machines attached to the gas tanks. How convenient.
No. I don’t want a damn drink. Nor do I want beef jerky, a Moon Pie or a rotisseried red hot dog. If I did, I would walk inside. I just want gasoline!!!!
I entered the correct response, although so many people have pressed “No” that the letters are no longer visible to the human eye.
DO YOU WANT A CAR WASH? IT IS SPRING AND YOUR SILVER CAR HAS A GREENISH-YELLOW HUE.
No! No! I do not want a car wash. I do not want a drink. I do not like them Sam I Am. What I want is a stick of frickin’ dynamite to stick up your pump! My kids are waiting for me. The sitter’s gonna flunk biology!!
If I EVER ALLOW YOU TO PUMP GAS, WOULD YOU LIKE A RECEIPT?
Finally something I do want. But shouldn’t that be a given?
I gently touch the car to ensure that she’s ready for insertion.
It looks like we’re finally there. My mind drifts, making a list of things that must be accomplished that night.
I hear the flow stop. I quickly remove the handle and screw the gas cap back on, my keys in my hand when my nemeses sends me one last message:
OUT OF PAPER. RECEIPT AVAILABLE AT THE CHECKOUT COUNTER
Son – of – a –