An annoying story


I was in a hurry, trying to get what I needed in town and back to the field as fast as possible. But as often happens, I was out of gas. So, I whipped into the nearest gas station and got out my card. I figured I’d just put enough gas in to finish the day and then fill it up tomorrow. 

But they had new gas pumps. At first, I figured this was a good thing. The old ones were a royal pain in the neck, and you were never sure if your card worked or if the police were going to track you down five minutes later. (This actually happened.) So, I figured new pumps were good and new pumps should be fast! 

But even though I followed the instructions carefully (yes, they give step by step instructions for putting fuel in your car.) the stupid thing wouldn’t work. Grinding my teeth, I tried again. And again. Finally, it took my card and started up. But irritating customers was not the only thing those new gas pumps are good at. The whole time I was wrestling with it, I had to put up with the stupid TV! 

That’s right, a tiny TV, right on the gas pump! Now, whose genius idea was that?

Who decided that people are SO addicted to TV that they can’t even fill a lousy tank of gas without it? Who decided that it’s a good idea to annoy people while they’re filling their tank? What moron invented gas pumps with TV’s on them in the first place? 

It’s not like the old days when TV’s were new and novel and only in houses. People watch TV on their phones anytime they want. So, what possible reason can they have to put a stupid TV on a gas pump? 

They must think watching commercials while fueling will make people buy more. That must be it. Surely there is no other reason on earth to do it. 

But I have news for them! It didn’t work! I got just enough gas to make it through the day and then took off! I didn’t run in for chips or ice cream or anything! I was disgusted enough with the whole TV thing that I wouldn’t have bought more stuff if my life depended on it!

And then when I had more time and filled up the next day, I went to a different gas station that also had new pumps, but they DON’T have TV’s on them! It was a quiet, familiar, PLEASANT experience. Well, as pleasant as a cold, snowy April morning can be, but still, it was so much nicer without the stupid TV blaring at me that I went in and bought a package of Twinkies.

Sure, it’s silly. But for that one moment I felt like I’d won. And these days, it’s important to win once in a while, even if it’s over a stupid tiny TV, on a gas pump.

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