Thursday, December 11, 2008

I reached for my wallet

Pin It ...only to discover that it was missing.

Hmmmm.

Of course, it was probably in my other pair of pants, or perhaps in my computer bag; maybe even in my car, lost under the seat amidst pizza coupons and CDs. However, a misplaced wallet someplace else was not going to help me in the here and now…I needed gas. The light had come on in my car about two days ago. Which—consequently—meant that I could travel for thirty miles or so; however I’d already pushed my car to the limit and knew that if I didn’t get gas I’d be getting exercise whether I wanted to or not.

I stopped off at a Maverick.

When was the last time I’d paid for gas with cash? How did one go about it? How much would it take to fill up my car?

These, plus all of the other questions in the universe, went racing about in my head like the storm which ripped up Dorothy’s house and transported it to the land of Oz. Well, I finally decided that with the current drop in gas prices, and needing nearly a full tank, I figured that I’d be safe with $25.

I walked in and immediately the aisles of overpriced foods (which weren’t all that appetizing or healthy) began to beckon to me. I avoided them all and went straight to the counter to pay, awaiting my turn behind the other patrons. This was a totally foreign experience to me.

When I arrived at the counter I think the woman there sensed that I was new to this ‘cash paying’ thing. I handed her the money, “Twenty-five on one.” I said, lacing 'cool' into my voice. She rang it in, and I walked back out to the bracingly-chilled evening, starting to fill my tank.

As the numbers flew by on the pump, I began to do a set of mental calculations. Even purchasing the midgrade gasoline I’d not be able to use up the whole amount I’d paid.

Curses.

It felt strange to me that here I now was… actually wanting to pay more at the pump than I was supposed to.

$22.


I thought about trying to force in a few more gallons, but I knew that there was absolutely no way it was going to work—the thing only held 14 gallons. Did I have a jug or something in the back of my car I could put the extra in?

Nothing.

I glanced around, anxious to see if anyone behind me were waiting to fuel up, and would like a few gallons for free.

Nobody.

I hung up the hose and decided I’d have to go back inside and ask for part of my money back. What an idiot I’d look like…after all, before me who had ever overpaid for gas and then needed to get a partial refund?

I thought about just leaving but decided against it—there were cameras recording drive-offs and those Maverick folk would probably hunt me down like a grandma at a flea market to get me back the $3 I had overpaid.

Besides, $3 would buy me a Whopper later on…or nearly enough.

I sidled back into the store and walked up the counter. The woman who’d helped me before glanced up as I entered. “I’m pretty stupid,” I admitted. “I paid a bit too much.”

She blinked—only once—and said, “Yep, I guess you are pretty stupid.”

Um...thanks?

She handed me three one dollar bills and than added, “We pay people for their stupidity…but you only get three dollars.”

Hmmmm….compliment or insult?

I decided that this were really a compliment as she flashed me both a wink and a smile.

I need to find my wallet.

8 comments:

MindyElias said...

Oh my goodness.............the 'cool' in your voice. Love it!

Good Stuff!

~me

Julie said...

I hope you find your wallet and don't just sit at home watching silly racing movies about death or something because you are so depressed! :)

Gerb said...

I must be REALLY stupid... I always have to go back in for the remainder of what I overpaid. But I figure I can always use a little change. Can't we all?

mywest said...

Welcome home son. I was just wondering where my wallet was....perhaps somewhere in one of the cars where I can usually find it. The only difference is I always carry a debit card. If I ever get pulled over for anything I just hold out my debit card and give the old grandpa look with my usual line my wallet is in the other car. Sometimes it works in Idaho where most every law officer in town knows my truck. I do always have cash money that's not worth much in my truck for emergence's. What's a wallet if you can pack a good debit card and some good greenbacks!!!!
Love, DAD

cari said...

Welcome to the stupid club...I do it all the time too. I hope you find your wallet.

Kris said...

Well it would have been a bonus if she was good looking and single and your age and she slipped you her number!

Anonymous said...

Think of the exercise you got waling into the gas station and back out! Every step counts! I hope it wasn't too cold standing out there pumping your gas! I am a big whimp when it comes to the cold!
KJ

Teachinfourth said...

ME - Somebody's gotta do it...

Jewels - *wink*

Gerb - Sounds like that part of "All Star" by Smash Mouth: "I could use a little fuel myself, and we could all use a little chaaaaaaanggggge."

Dad - I should probably have a backup such as that...I do have a few bucks stashed away here and there in the event of an emergency...I just need to remember to replace that 'mad money' once I've already used it!

Cari - Wallet found...and welcome to the club!

Kris - Unfortunately, not a hit on either...

KJ - I need to take a few more of them. I need a walking partner!

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