Friday, July 23, 2010

At The Station That Night Cringe


……continued from previous cringe, Gas Station Cringe……..

Marty entered into research mode. He read up on the mechanics of breakaway gas station hoses, their costs, and what typically happens when fools drive off still connected. In most cases, the driver cringes, apologizes, pays for fuel only, and leaves. The gas station attendant usually reattaches hose to pump, muttering “asshole” under his breath. Transaction complete. My shakedown was irregular.

Marty called his childhood friend, Tom, who now works as a Connecticut state trooper. After Tom howled, he advised Marty to head down to the local police and request that an officer “facilitate” the return of money. Tom confirmed that the station had clearly been dishonest and felt that a visit from a cop should result in the swift credit of $120 to our american express card.

At around 7:00p.m., we took a family trip to our town police station. The family included me, Marty, 2 ½ year old Christopher, and unborn baby Brendan. As Christopher spread informational pamphlets with titles like, Signs of Domestic Abuse, all over the lobby floor, our lawman appeared.

He looked like a porn star portraying a policeman in a 1980s adult flick. I expected tinny Bowm Chicka Bowm Bowm music to mark his entry into the room. Forty- something, chip-on-shoulder, slightly graying feathered hair, Magnum P.I. bristly moustache, tight uniform. Porncop had never upped the waist size of his polyester blues since graduating from the academy some twenty years ago—a quick pursuit would surely bust seams. He greeted us with a bored gaze that expressed that we were interrupting real police business occurring behind the sealed door he just came from. He picked at his nails while Marty introduced himself and cliffnoted the shifty cringe down at the Shell.

Porncop glanced up to meet my eyes at the part about me driving off attached. The flicker of "dumb chick" registered on his mustachioed mug as a nonverbal mutter. Porncop raised his hand and cut Marty off before his summation.

“Well, let’s all go down there and check this out.”

Later, when we told the story to Tom the state trooper and my stepfather (a former NYPD detective), they both let out cries of incredulous shock-- amazed by Porncop’s procedural lapse. They insisted that the first chapter of Policing 101 includes: investigate rip-off claims individually—do not drag victim(s) to scene of alleged fraud.

I was already cringing. I did not want to go down there.

“Christopher’s tired. Can you drop us off before you go?” I pleaded to Marty.

“Aren’t you the one with THE PROBLEM?” Porncop snapped. “I need you there.”

At the station, I crouched down in the passenger seat, practically below the dashboard, as Marty, Porncop, and Mean Gas Man Owner argued by the pumps. At first, Marty and Mean Gas Man exchanged heated words. Mean Gas Man ran to the garage and grabbed a hose for show and tell. He pointed and yelled and threw the hose on the blacktop. Marty held pieces of paper and thrust them at Mean Gas Man, pointing at them and challenging the old man to read the information. All the while, other cars pulled up and received gas from the same pump I had used earlier that day. The pump that the old man was now claiming I had irrevocably broken. Somehow, my station wagon morphed into a tank that afternoon, permanently shredding a hose that is engineered to withstand extreme tugs.

A woman ran out of the mini-mart, the Mean Gas Man’s wife. She began to scream and shake, pointing to her husband’s chest. She protested he had a weak heart that could not withstand accusation. I slouched down further in my seat as I saw Marty pointing towards us. I caught some words and phrases, You should be ashamed to treat two pregnant women like that and Liar! and That's Bullshit! I could hear this through shut car windows.

Now Porncop was in the mix. His face was very close to Marty’s and there was bobbing and pointing between them.

“Why is Daddy yelling at that Policeman?” Christopher asked from his car seat behind me.


My cringe was about to jump out of my chest and break the windows.

“Ummm….Daddy’s just having a little disagreement with that policeman.” I offered, holding my breath. Just one of my eyes was cracked open.

“Why?”

“Why don’t we play I Spy?” I attempted to distract, hoping that one of the objects would not be handcuffs around Daddy’s wrists.

Fortunately, Marty stormed back to the car, arms swinging freely. Porncop had been useless. We found out later from another cop in town that the Shell Station is where Porncop gets his free coffee, newspapers, and whatever else.

Bowm Chicka Bowm Bowm.
Next week....Part three.

10 comments:

  1. This is the greatest!!!!!! I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard!

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  2. dear lord, I would have paid money to see this going down....

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  3. Oh Tracey, you never cease to make me laugh!!!!!

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  4. I love that Marty does all the research but ultimately it comes down to thats bullshit hysterical!

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  5. Thanks for all of your comments! Funny thing....since this topic, a few people have admitted to me that they have driven off from gas stations too!

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  6. I am starting the First Official Martin L. Ryan Fan Club.

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  8. Absolutely hilarious. Keep me up to date on what the woman with your 2 pages says.

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  9. BACK FROM VACATION LOVED LOVED PART 2 AM ANXIOUS FOR PART 3. THIS IS CLASSIC! THANK YOU TRACY
    KB

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