Friday, May 27, 2011

Pump and Circumstance

After a big Mexican meal and Bromo, I do pump my own gas. So despite the fact that I don’t drive as regularly as most people, I am still generally familiar with the process of fueling stuff including suspicions, rumors, and a college-aged kid. Today however, I was having trouble with a pump NOT pumping despite my best effort to make nice with the nozzle to deliver the drizzle.

When did these machines become so complicated? I had to choose a financial purchasing method, decline a car wash, and request a transaction receipt ALL PRIOR to actually swiping a credit card (from another guy) for payment. Not only did I have to decide on a grade of gasoline to top my tank’s drinking habit, but I also found out that sunshine and Sprite quenches my personal thirst for life as well. Even better, if I ever decide to slow smoke my sack o’ cellulite, there is a whole DOLLAR with my name on it if I buy three packs of cancer sticks in exchange for my diaphragm’s dwindling last tar-laced hack.

With so many life-changing decisions and commerce-inducing opportunities, even at the speed of light, you can imagine what a ‘slo-mo’ world of wonder buying gas is for cave-bound creatures like me? I would read the little matrix display screen and punch a button. Then the machine would beep, bleat, but never speak its domineering demands with a fanciful flash. I would stare, study and bump yet more buttons on the pump in hopes of quenching its seemingly insatiable appetite for human touch. No wonder aliens don’t want citizenship – buying gas in this country has become much harder than getting fake UFO insurance or voting multiple times on their own lifeless planets.

Despite all the attention and coaxing I had rendered, the machine stood stiff like the lip of a Royal guard. What do I have to do to beg for a jar of low-lead for my moped - buy this persnickety gassy-hose a dinner and a movie? I checked the nozzle and wondered if the station’s tank and my luck were running on empty? Probably more likely, this was some devious Shell game designed to force the pricier high octane Molotov juice on ‘dimwitting’ pumping patrons like me?

Apparently not though, because seeing the protracted and befuddled struggle on my ‘muggle’ proved too much even for the patience of the uncooperative machine. Sounding a bit sorry, irritated, and bored all at the same time, the pump finally succumbed to my dogged problem-solving charm to simply speak LOUDLY for all near to hear - "Uh … lift the LEVER to turn the pump on !" “Cheeky pushy Pump” I thought – “ I hardly know you” - I liked our relationship a lot better when you were MUTE!


  1. No trouble BUYING gas here....just a little irked at what we're PAYING for it!

  2. Despite the pumps and all their crazy choices, they sure guzzle the money.

    Makes you think about where you want to drive!

  3. What was your wordplay about "cancer sticks?"
    Seemed as if you were hinting about smoking.
    I have known you for quite awhile and remember
    you gave up smoking long ago. At about age 7.

  4. "...nice with the nozzle to deliver the drizzle.." like that one. Thank you my friend for the nice comment on my blog. If you have a moment - two ideas -
    1. you need to fix the url you put into DISQUS profile. It appears to be missing an 'o'.
    2. browse over to Jillsy Girls and give a vote for "a childhood"

  5. In Oregon, we're not considered bright enough to pump our own gas. Occasionally, a legislator decides to introduce a bill to change that, but it's soundly defeated.

    I have to admit that I appreciate being able to stay in my car, hand the card to the attendant, and stay dry and out of the wind the six months of the year that it's raining and blowing here.

  6. Moped! bahaha, just the word makes me smile.
    However, that having been said, LOVED THIS POST. You are such a terrific writer! I'll be back!

  7. I hate the ridiculous electronic billboard that the gas pumps have become. BUT, and this is a good one, my gas station now has little tv's above the pumps with cool, short little segments just long enough to entertain you and try to help you forget the fortune you're pumping into your car. I love those tv's.

  8. This is a hoot. I know what you mean. Or tried to put my charge card in backwards...

  9. Dontcha hate it when the machines make you feel pathetic! Great post!

  10. Sounds like something that would happen to me, but I wouldn't be able to write about it so amusingly.