I stopped to get gas on my way home yesterday at the station in town nearest the interstate that I use some days coming home (I vary the route to and from work to foil the Forces of Evil). I'm not sure which company it is, but it's not the one who was so busy in the Gulf but one of the others, their motto is "We're the Other Ba$tards" and it shows.
When I use plastic to pay for gasoline at their pumps, they always ask me twice "do you want a car wash today?" The first time is right after I swipe the card-I never appreciate being rushed-I am, after all, planning on buying gasoline. Then after you finish with the pump, before it asks if you'd like a receipt, it inquires again about a car wash. I figure if it does this to everyone, the operators would have long since been flooded by complaints from customers annoyed about the delay, so is it asking only me? And why? Is my car that dirty? I'm starting to pack a disguise in the glove box to put on the next time I fill up to minimize the embarrassment.
This afternoon as the tank filled, I cleaned the windshield because it really needed it. The neighborhood squirrels had decided my car in the garage looked exactly like Six Flags Over Subaru and there were paw prints on the front and rear windows of the Forester and across part of the roof. Once the squeegee is wet, grasshopper, it doesn't care what it cleans, so I wound up doing a little work above the glass (like they say in the NBA) and looked up to see an older woman in a small Korean car sitting on the other side of the island deciding whether or not she was going to get gas. I suspect I was the cause of her disquiet.
Like a professional street-corner guy, I glided over to her car, and nailed her front window. SMOOOSH! went the wet side as the water rolled down to the hood. SQUEEEK! went the rubber blade dragging across the windshield to remove whatever water still remained. She could barely see over the wheel and peered up at me as she dug for her keys with one hand as with the other she rolled down the window. Leaning out, and up, her hand reached out as she handed me the keys and directed 'put in twenty dollars of regular and while you're out there, would you check the oil?'
Assuming everyone this age is some one's parent and knowing my turn to be in there is nearer than I'd like, I asked her to pop the hood and checked the oil. She was down less than a pint so I told her next time she came in for a fill-up we'd get her squared away. She handed me a twenty and drove off. I walked inside and gave the money to the guy behind the register. He wanted to know if she wanted a car wash. Yeah, mine.