I went to the RaceTrac gas station on Sherwood Forest today, and after I swiped my card and fit the gas nozzle into my tank, I realized that the gas hose didn't have a handle. Or to be more precise, there was a handle, but no trigger to pull. So there was no way to pump gas.
At first I thought they had installed some fancy new gas nozzles, but then noticed that the other gas nozzle-thingies had handles. I knew that I should drive up to the next pump, but this presented a challenge that was too good to pass up. Plus I didn't want to look like a jackass who couldn't figure out how to pump gas.
It's all about street cred at the Sherwood Forest RaceTrac.
So I tried various things, most of which included bending over and looking at the gas hose from various angles. I grasped different areas of the hose, pushed things that looked like they might be buttons, and even twiddled the thing that allows you to do a hands-free gas pump. I even tried voice commands in several tones and pitches, but to no avail.
I couldn't pump gas, which really wasn't a big deal as there were 11 other gas pumps free. But I thought I should tell the clerk about the broken gas handle. Just in case, ya know?
"Hello there, I just wanted to tell you that pump number 2..."
The clerk finished my sentence for me. "Is missing a handle. Yes, we know." She looked me in the eye, saying nothing else.
"Oh," I said, "well I'm glad you know. You see, I didn't realize that you knew because there was no sign outside saying, 'Out of Order' or 'Gas handle broken' or 'Go to another gas station that actually makes an effort every once in a while.' So I just wanted to let you know, again, that the gas pump is broken. Maybe you should get that fixed."
But my biting sarcasm had no affect on the clerk. I bet if I had been at a Shell station I could have at least gotten a few dirty looks. But nothing at the RaceTrac. The clerk was cool as a cucumber, or a "cuke" as I call them.
The clerk chewed her cud of bubble gum and said, "You can use another pump. Pump 2 is broken."
Defeated, I went back to my car, got in, started the car, drove 10 feet to the next pump, got out and swiped my credit car again. Another car pulled up right behind me.
"Hey!" I heard the guy shout, "there's no handle on this pump! What the hell, man, there should be a sign or something!"
"Go tell the clerk," I shouted back. "She might not know it's broken."
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