Monday, August 2, 2010

Another Cringe At The Same Station

….Continued from last post, At The Station That Night Cringe…..

There was no satisfying resolution to my gas hose mishap. My cringe would have had a stronger narrative arc (“good story”) if my money had been returned. I was out $120. and now uneasy about living in a town with public protection in the form of Porncop.

My only recourse was to tell my embarrassing story with the goal of convincing locals to boycott that particular station. One of the people I told was Ted, a friend I wrote about in a previous post entitled, Ferry Cringe. It turns out that Ted had a run-in with Mean Old Gas Man at that station too. However, Ted’s resolution was so satisfying that I have adopted it as the footnote to my own tale:

Mean Old Gas Man runs a sideline business on his premises—a gas grill propane tank exchange. A few years ago, Ted bought a new grill that came with a gleaming white virgin tank. Many hotdogs and hamburgers later, he went to the Shell Station for his first propane trade. Mean Old Gas Man took Ted’s perfect tank and handed him a rusted, chipped, and dented poor replacement. It appeared as if bowling balls had been thrown at the ancient vessel.

“I just gave you a brand new tank. This one’s shot.”

Mean Old Gas Man dismissed him with an impatient toss of hand. “Then you bring this one back and you get a different one. It doesn’t matter. So what?”

Ted had guests waiting for barbeque ribs in his backyard. He took the crap tank and hurried home.

A few weeks later, the crap tank ran empty. Ted returned to the station to exchange. Mean Old Gas Man wouldn’t accept the rusty tank! An argument ensued. The swindler denied that he had peddled the old tank weeks before. Ted called him a liar. Chest puffed out with righteousness, Mean Old Gas Man continued to refuse, adamant that he had never had the crap tank in his possession.

Ted got back in his car and drove to Home Depot. He purchased a spanking new white tank. He didn’t drive straight home. He pulled into the evil Shell Station, opened his driver door with the car still running, and stepped out. He grabbed the dilapidated crap tank from the backseat. Locking eyes with the Mean Old Gas Man, he extended his left arm. With one powerful motion, Ted hurled the crap tank up in the air. It rocketed over the hood of his car and bounced like a creaking bed across the pavement of the gas bays, sputtering and clanging as Mean Old Gas Man watched its trail.

Ted exited the station contented.

I like to think that a tiny current of my spirit soared with the flying crap tank.

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