Monday, August 24, 2009

Pumping gas is a man's job

I was out to lunch with a friend when she said that she hoped she could get to the gas station down the street a couple of blocks because she was driving on fumes. It seems her husband had used the car all weekend and left it for her with no gas. That, in my mind, is so unacceptable. I rarely, like maybe once or twice a year, pump gas. I will wash the windows when we stop so the dad can fill but that is as close as I like to get to putting the nozzle into the tank.

The main reason I hate putting gas in the car is because we have this crazy gas cap on the van that is like a safety cap on a pill bottle. It has to be pushed in and jiggled just right or the thing will not come off. The dad oddly doesn't seem to have this problem. So if I do have to get gas I am already worried that I won't be able to get the gas cap removed before I have even turned the ignition off. When I get out I just know that they are watching on those security monitors in the store. I can hear them in there saying "Hey everybody, look at this woman trying to get her gas cap off" as they fall down laughing. The longer it takes me to get it off I start to wonder if I will end up at their Christmas party where they show funny videos from the year prior that has happened at their store. My other fear is, if I can't get it off, do I go in and ask for help or just drive off? I imagine them calling the cops that I was a drive off and then when they pull me over with the sirens screaming and the lights flashing I will have to tell the officer that no I didn't steal any gas, I can't get my gas cap off.

The other reason I don't like to do it is because gas pumps hate me. Truly, along with copy machines, they hate me. I had to stop once to pump gas because I was out of town, the dad wasn't with and I wouldn't have gotten back home without running out of gas. I stopped at a station and got the cap off but then I couldn't get the pump to pump. I went into the store and told the teenage clerk that my pump wouldn't pump and she said you pumped $19 something in to your tank. No I didn't I tell her. Our pumps are verified every so many months and you pumped $19 in your tank she snips at me. I am imagining them calling the cops, because I wasn't going to pay for gas I didn't pump, the officer looking at my car and seeing that the tank really was empty I just don't know how to work the pump. He would go back to the station and tell everyone how he had to go to a call and the only thing wrong was the only woman in the world who can't pump gas was there. Finally this older clerk took pity on me and came out to see what was going on. After verifying that, no I didn't pump any gas yet, she shows me this little, tiny, handmade sticker they had put on the pump that said "push" and that was how to turn the pump on. Really, I am already tense about the gas cap and you expect me to see some little sticker?

This is why I think pumping gas is a man's job. In my defense, the dad has never taken brush to toilet bowl so I feel this is more than fair. After all, how hard is to run a toilet brush that he never does that job?

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