Sometimes I just don't know what people are thinking. On the way to "gym class" this morning (aka: The Boy's occupational therapy), the yellow light came on in the van to remind me to apply for my weekly loan to fill up the tank. I stopped in at the gas station adjacent to the local grocery store since they offer a gas reward points promotion for shopping there. I figure with all the cash I drop in that place, I've earned some cheap(er) gas.
I had just started pumping, and I was enjoying the beautiful weather and making funny faces at The Boy and Baby Girl through the window, so I hardly noticed the only other car in the gas station. I could barely see the attendant behind the tinted glass of her special
cage hut station-house, but I assumed she was in there dutifully guarding the cigarettes and the cash drawer, in that order. Then I heard the scratchy whine of feedback over her intercom as she sent a message to my fellow gas pump patron:
"Uh, excuse me, ma'am, but you have to put that cigarette out. I can't let you smoke over top of the gas pump."
What? Who in God's name was smoking over their gas pump? Haven't they ever, ever seen any episodes of Oprah or Inside Edition? If they don't want you to use your cell phone at the pump, why on earth would you be allowed to light one up? Come on now.
I was just about to finish up (only fifteen more dollars and the tank will be full!), when I saw the attendant leave her booth, carefully lock the door behind her (the cigarettes, you know), and walk towards the other car. She was almost creeping; slowly edging around the pumping island so that she could go all crouching tiger, hidden attendant on the customer. She sprung around the island for the face-off.
"Are you smoking over here?"
"Yes, you ARE smoking. I saw you hiding behind the pump and lighting up! You can't smoke while you are pumping gas!
"Well, then I can't let you pump gas. You can't stand over the fumes from the gas pump with a lit cigarette in your mouth."
(mumble, mumble, mumble)
"Yeah, you can smoke over there across the parking lot as soon as you're done, but not here."
(attendant turns and walks toward her booth, customer yelling:)
"Well thanks a lot, now I have to run my whole card through again!"
Now I ask you, which is worse?: having to use one tenth of a second to swipe a piece of plastic through a machine, or going up face first in a blaze of glory and taking the gas station with you? Yeah, that's what I thought, too. Nothing like a little brawl at the gas station to get the day started off right!