Cheap Gas and the Dancing Car

Old Gas Pump

Old Car
Old Car (Photo credit: KB35)

Before we cast ourselves adrift again on our second homeless stint, we gassed up after waiting for 20 minutes at the cheapest gas station in town. We played dodgems on the forecourt with cars, trucks and motorhomes – other cheapskates – before ending up behind an old boy in a rusty heap. When it was finally his turn, he shot forward to the pump nearly crashing head-on with an interloper sneaking in from the opposite direction.

In this credit and debit card society, he tottered through a tangled maze of cars and gas pumps to pre-pay with cash in the shop for his fill up. Upon returning to the pump his gas tank swallowed $60 in short order so he limped back to the shop to part with more money. I’m guessing he paid another $20 but the pump shut off after $10.32. Bored and impatient we watched him closely.

He staggered to the back of his car (the temperature was in the 90’s, positively roasting for Pacific Northwesterners) and pushed up and down on the trunk. This caused his car to dance on its sloppy suspension like a “funny car” (those redneck motors that pump up their suspensions and rock side to side and forward and back for absolutely no reason at all) but he seemed to unblock an air lock because he was then able to pump another $2.55 before lurching back to the trunk to make his car dance again for another $1.97 of gas to go in the tank.

After another couple of slow mo moves by the old boy and the car’s lively quick step he gave up and put the nozzle back in the pump. But he didn’t get back in his car. Oh no, he tottered back to the shop for his refund.

“Do you know how much change he went back for?” Jimmy sputtered as we catapulted to the pump to claim the old boy’s empty space when he finally drove off. “Ten cents!!!”  All the other things Jimmy said while we were waiting for Slow Mo and his boogying car have to remain off the record.

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