Friday, December 18, 2015

excerpt 4

The saga continues with this excerpt from the next chapter of Bob and Mary’s Excellent Adventure.
With all the running around we’ve been doing, there comes a time to replenish the fuel in the car or risk the embarrassing walk to the gas station with that red container that fairly shouts, “this fool can’t be trusted to remember that the gas gauge on the dashboard ain’t kidding.” and knowing that everyone driving by knows what a shmuck you are for running out of gas. So rather than suffer that ignominy, I headed for the nearest gas station for the necessary fill up.
By now we all know how deficient I am when it comes to dealing with any kind of tech torture devised by man. But come on, a gas pump hardly qualifies as first tier technology meant to thwart every attempt by man to use it -that is, a normal man. But this is me holding the hose and wondering why the pump isn’t cooperating. I tried everything I could think of to prod that pump into performing its only function. And,yes, I put the credit card in the slot the right way. Rather than asking Mary what was wrong (talk about embarrassing; no manly man would ever stoop so low as to ask his wife how to operate a gas pump) I decided to go to the source and deal man to man with the station attendant.
I knew immediately upon entering that this might be a more difficult process than I originally thought. The odor inside was decidedly not of this part of the world, but something that might be considered etherial over there. I have a very bad sense of smell, but even I was overwhelmed. But the incense fouling the atmosphere was only the first clue that communication might be problematic. The turban on the attendant’s head was a dead give away that some delicate international diplomacy was going to be required.
“Can you turn pump 4 on for me? I can’t get it to work.” I started the communication dance rolling.
“You want receipt?” (supply your own indecipherable accent here)
“ No, I don’t need a receipt since I haven’t bought anything yet.” I tried to keep the sarcasm out of my voice, but I was having some difficulty doing so.
“I give you receipt.” He handed over a receipt for $12, figuring that I would be satisfied with someone else’s receipt.

“No, no, i don’t want a receipt, especially not someone else’s. What I would really like is for you to turn the pump on so I can pump some gas and thereby qualify for one of your wonderful receipts.” The exasperation I was feeling was gradually bubbling to the surface and would soon come spewing out, uncontrolled by my increasing lack of patience.

“Yes,Yes, you qualify. I give you receipt.” He was nearly jumping for joy at solving my problem.

What I wanted to say at that point to that moron, Mary won’t allow me to print here.
I just threw up my hands, turned toward the exit door, and headed for the relative safety of the real world outside. As I approached the end of my Twilight Zone episode, I was mumbling imprecations aimed at Middle Eastern oil.
We were so traumatized by the experience (at least I was. Mary tends to laugh at me when I teeter on the edge sanity.) that we put requiring fuel on the bottom of the list, figuring there were at least 4 more gas stations along the way that would certainly accept my credit card and spit out a receipt without my having to deal with another gas station attendant.
The only thing that would make me recover and feel good again was some shopping. Yeah, I like to shop with Mary. Especially when I know that if I behave myself, she will reward my good behavior with something I want. I don’t have to beg much for it either.

We headed for Kohls.

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