First off, I know this isn’t music related. Sorry. Actually, first off, this isn’t Mark but I needed to “tag” this something and since it’s not music related I decided to borrow “Musings by Mark”. Sorry Mark and fans of Mark’s Musings.
I pull into the gas station. Get out. Walk around the car thinking, “Damn it’s cold. Wish I had brought my gloves.”
I open the gas latch and unscrew the top. Get my credit card out and am almost ready to swipe when…out of the corner of my eye I see someone approaching. At first I’m thinking she’s gonna give me a sob story about how she forgot her wallet. How she just needed a few dollars to get home. I’m a nice guy and even though I know they are bullshitting me I usually give them a 5 or 10. Sometimes. OK most times. I know. Don’t encourage them. It’s like feeding the bears in Alaska. I know.
So she comes up to me (and I quickly put my credit card back in the wallet and in my back pocket). The lady is 60. Maybe 50. And I notice she has a friend with her at their pump on the other side. She, too, is in her 50s.
She comes up and in asks, “How do you pump gas?” I can’t believe this is how she is starting her sob story. Maybe, I think, this is a distraction so that she can somehow get my credit card or maybe a way for me to walk over and insert my card in her gas pump.
She doesn’t start another sentence and I conclude that it seems to be an actual question. I am sure I look at her sideways a bit then start explaining.
I asked, “Do you have a credit card?” “Yes.”
“Well you insert your card in this slot and quickly take it out.” I form my fingers into a position of holding a “pretend card” in my hand (thumb pressed against first two fingers) and make the insert and “out”sert motion.
“Then it asks for your zip code. The 5 digit mailing code and hit this ‘enter’ button.” I point to the screen and for some reason insert my zip code. (great I think…if she trying to steal my cc then I just pressed my zip code out in front of her) (and yes I realize my cc is in my back pocket) (and yes I realize that I only pretended to insert a cc) (and yes I realize this is a lot of ()’s) (and yes I know they are called parentheses)
“Then you select which grade of gas. The higher the number the more expensive it is.” She is taking ALL this in as I move to the next and final step.
“Then you grab this handle.” I point to and then decide to actually grab the hose. I turn and put it in the gas tank. “Then squeeze.”
“That’s it?” She looks puzzled. “Yeah, that’s it.”
“OK. Thank you.”
“No problem. You’re welcome.”
She walks away. I see her and the friend discuss. I still am doubting the entire situation. I pull my cc from my wallet and begin the process I just explained to the lady. (PS I do it flawlessly)
I’m thinking, man that was a bit odd.
She then yells (ok not yells more like talks loudly). “My husband usually does this but he’s not here. It’s my first time.” Again let me remind you. She’s at least 50 probably 60. Then I find myself thinking if this is her first time pumping gas surely she can’t be that confident as a driver. That is another story and one I’m not involved in (or at least at this time).
I nod my head that I heard her. And give her another thumbs up. She looks…happy. Possibly proud.
The auto stop function on my pump works and halts the flow of gas into my car. I am done. I look over one more time. Just to make sure she is still doing ok. She notices me looking over. This time she yells (and yes again she’s not yelling) (I really should have used a different more appropate word the first time) (too late) (edit yourself you are probably saying) (NEVER I yell) (yes yell) (ok where are we?)
This time she yells, “You are a very good teacher.”
I reply, “No, you are a very good student.”
I get in my car. Turn the key. And drive away.