“It's better to have beer in hand than gas in tank” ~ Anonymous
Lucky I awoke in a good mood today, otherwise this morning would have really sucked. I have a job where I normally work from home, but occasionally have to go into the office for meetings. Today was one of those days.
After struggling with my hair for what seemed like an eternity (and finally forcing it back into a stubby ponytail), I dressed and headed for the door, sidestepping kitty's fur ball in the hallway. I step outside and realize that my black tweed pants are actually brown. And I'm wearing a black button up shirt and black heels. Hmph.
I get in the car and the low fuel light glares at me. Damn. It takes 30 minutes to get to the office ... meeting starts at 10 o'clock ... and it's 9:20. I floor it to the gas station. I get out, scan my card, and reach for the gas pump to begin filling my car. Next thing I know gas is spraying everywhere. We're talking Old Faithful style. Not sure if it was a faulty pump, user error or just God's way of getting in a good laugh, but four letter words flew from my mouth as gas drenched my pants, splashed over the side of my car and began to form a pool under my back left tire.
I managed to control the pump enough to get five bucks actually in -- and not on -- my car before gas began to spew out of my tank. What the hell? I give up and return the pump to it's holder. I sadly watch as ten bucks drip off my car while paranoia sets in. Is my car going to catch fire when I start it? Am I going to die? A quick call to J assured me I wasn't going to burst into flames, but he said that I needed to tell the store employees.
I run into the gas station store and wait in line to tell Apu what happened. There's a young guy in front of me digging in his pockets for change. Upon closer inspection, I realize he's wearing pjs, an old bathrobe and slippers, and he's purchasing not one but two 24 oz cans of Natural Lite beer. At 9:30 in the morning.
He finally finds enough change, and I tell Apu about the sea of gas I created outside. I can't understand him and I wonder if he even understands me. He walks off and begins shouting. I can't tell if he's shouting because he's panicked, or shouting because he thinks if he talks louder, I'll understand him. Five minutes later he grunts and points to a man outside. I walk outside and tell Apu #2 what happened.
"Pump 15?" he asks.
"Yes, pump 15," I reply.
He begins to laugh and I'm not sure why. We walk over to the Sea of Gas and he shrugs his shoulders.
"Pump 15 is broken," he says.
"Broken? I didn't see a sign," I reply, frustrated.
"No sign, it's broken," he says. So now what? "Don't worry, I clean up with special powder."
"Fine, so I'm not going to burst into flames?" I seriously ask. He laughs again and shakes his head. What a waste. I get into my car and it's now 9:47. Damn. I floor it down the highway, getting high off the gasoline trapped in my clothes and shoes.
As I near the office, I glance to my left to see a black Oldsmobile barrelling down the wrong side of the road. Holy crap. There's a grassy median separating us, and I wonder if he realizes we're not in England and that he should be on my side of the road. I see him swerve around a couple of cars before losing sight of him at my turn.
By the time I circle the building and find a parking spot half a mile from the door, I'm twenty-eight minutes late for my meeting. Sweating, I sit down as quietly as possible. It wasn't long before someone asks, "Does anyone else smell gasoline?"
Perhaps the smell distracted from my mis-matched outfit. Perhaps I'll get a raise because I look (and smell) like a bum. Regardless, tomorrow I'm staying home in my pjs.