So by the time my tank is full, which takes time and strength of the wrist, I have also been entertained. I even look forward to my time at the pumps, although I do put it off, usually for two good reasons.
Yesterday, I made it through Bridge with enough fuel to limp into Wainscot’s Hess. It’s snowy. No worries, this girl is prepared. I’ve got Keith Richards in the car reading LIFE . I’m good to go. Rather, I will be, before long. Keith is rambling on about cops. I put my Amex card in the thing and press,” enter”, “yes” to the receipt bit, and open the cap. I get the gun in just so, and the gas starts to flow. Now, to be truthful, (why do people use that phrase? it is so obnoxious) I find this part challenging, even embarrassing, because often I don’t get it right. The gas starts ok, but if I move the handle slightly, it shuts down, and it’s curtains. I take the twenty-cent receipt, and hope no one is looking while I start over again. This never happens to any fellow pumpers. They just do it. Then leave. Furthermore, they don’t need any entertainment.
Yesterday, however I had the touch. I mastered the pump. The gas flowed without a hiccup. However, early on, my Amex card slipped out of my hand. I figured that if I stopped to pick it up, I would certainly lose the flow. I made a conscious decision to wait till I had finished with all of the apparatus and only then would I bend down to retrieve my card. I’d be on my way, receipt in hand, gassed up to go to Amagansett. I’d be just like everyone else. But no. Just wait.
Keith Richards was waxing poetic with his righteous indignation with the American police force and their intolerance for his right to carry drugs on his person at any and all times. I became truly fascinated, lost in his sense of entitlement. So he’s going along about his unfair arrest inArkansasby some prejudiced bubba drunken cops. Poor Keith. I try to get in his shoes…this unfairly targeted Englishman just trying to lead a decent life here in the US of A.
Now my dad, he was an honorary policeman up island in the pristine but oh so snobby pretty town ofGarden City, the place where I tried to grow up. Most people, who say where they grew up, didn’t. Not by a long shot. Take me. Please, as the great Henny Youngman would say. I’m still working on it. At least I tell the truth. What’s so great about having grown up anyway? Isn’t getting there the fun part? I‘ve come clean about the slacker part of me. If I had done just one thing at a time, and only concentrated on growing up maybe it would be different. But oh so boring. There are so many worthy distractions along the way, no? Real grown ups are like the mother and father of Wendy, Michael, and John. They have lost the magic if you ask me.
Getting back to my early years. We were taught to have the utmost respect and admiration for those uniformed men of the law. Those white-gloved and gold-badged officers guarded our streets. As I walked home from elementary school each day for lunch (yes, it’s true) they stopped traffic (I did too, but that was way later) with a smile. We loved, honored, and obeyed them. There is no crime in that town. What’s not to love?
To hear Keith’s story, it’s like thinking of being persecuted by Nazis inGermany. I get it. We were once in a lawsuit being tried by jury inAlabama. Think, “ My Cousin Vinnie.” Without the happy ending. Not pretty. So I can have some sympathy for Keith. Yes Sympathy for that devil. My Yankee story is for another time.
Anyway, you guessed it. I got engrossed in Keith’s narrative while I was pumping away. I totally forgot my well thought-out plan. I put the cap on the gas tank, closed the fuel compartment cover, grabbed the receipt and smugly sped off. Nothing like a tank-full to give a girl a sense of possibilities. I was getting good. I was so proficient I could apply for a job as a gas station attendant if this recession doesn’t quit.