It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day. I was singing to myself, “Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day! I’ve got a wonderful feeling, everything’s going my way!” Little did I know…
Shelly said, “Your car has very little gas. I am in a rush so I will take care of it later.”
Feeling in a carefree mood, I replied, “I will do it!”
“You never put gas in the car,” he replied.
“I can do it,” I said. Shelly usually maintains our cars. He is the Yin. I am the Yang.
Off to the Gas Station I Went
Upon arrival, I pulled alongside one of the gas pumps. I got out of my car and read the instructions. “Easy enough,” I thought to myself.
I turned around to open the gas tank only to realize it was on the other side of my car! Of course, the hose would not reach, so I got back into my car, drove around, and parked at another gas pump.
I got out of my car a second time, took the hose out of the gas pump, turned around and my gas tank was still on the wrong side! At that moment, I noticed a man standing in the doorway of the gas station smiling as he watched this scene.
Feeling somewhat foolish, I smiled and he returned the smile with a little wave. I got into my car again, drove around again, got out of my car again, looked at my gas tank again, and was finally happy and relieved that the gas tank was on the correct side.
However, in my happiness, I did not notice the sign on the pump that read… OUT OF ORDER! The man was still watching, shaking his head and laughing! I felt like I was living a Saturday Night Live skit!
Third Times the Charm
I finally got my act together and pulled up, correctly, to another gas pump. And while I was more than a little frazzled, but I was determined to do this on my own.
I looked up and noticed that the man in the doorway gave me a thumbs up! Smiling, I got out of my car, slid my credit card, took out the hose and put the hose into my tank. But the hose would not stay in! It kept falling out!
I tried and tried, wanting to cry! Obviously, the man in the doorway was not going to offer his assistance as he continued to watch.
I noticed a woman behind me filling her tank. “Can you please help me,” I pleaded. She smiled and then helped me. We talked for a few minutes before I thanked her and she walked back to her car.
All Was Well Until…
I looked down at the hose to make certain it was secure, relieved to finally be leaving this “war zone.” All of a sudden I heard a loud BOOM, forcing me to look around!
I could not believe the scene! My hand went over my mouth in shock, unable to comprehend what was happening!
The woman who helped me forgot that she had not taken the hose out of her car. As she pulled away to leave, she accidentally yanked the entire hose out of the gas pump machine! I could not believe my eyes!
The pump’s hose was dangling from her car! Gas was running out of the gas pump machine! The man in the doorway threw up his arms screaming, “A fire will start! A fire will start!”
The woman stopped short and jumped out of her car! I was standing there not believing this scene and thinking that the next thing to happen would be the entire gas station would probably blow up! I just stood beside my car, frozen. The man was running towards the woman yelling, “You will pay for this! You will pay for this!”
Calm Vibes Lead to Positive Outcomes
The woman stayed so calm. We both looked at each other and then at her car with the gas pump hose hanging out of it. We could not speak! But then something happened…
We suddenly started to laugh. We looked at the gas pump machine lacking a hose! I thought to myself, now there will be two “out of order” signs at this gas station!
She said it was her fault and I said it was mine. I insisted on paying for the damage but she refused.
The man in the doorway finally reached our side, his arms waving in the air! He said he was the manager. The woman explained to him that the owner and her husband are best friends. “Everything will be taken care,” she says.
He said, “There is a $500.00 deductible! Tell that to your husband!” I just stood there… speechless, as I listened to his tirade and watched the look of calmness on the woman’s face.
She never faltered or lost her cool. Rather, she was a lady.
Our friendship began that day and since then we have become close friends and our husbands are friends too! Hopefully, the manager learned a valuable lesson… when he sees a “damsel in distress” at his gas station, help her — immediately!
Needless to say, I now stay away from gas stations.
This is a story that I shared with my grandchildren. I wanted to teach them the meaning of “true grit;” sticking with something until the end and the value of kindness. Stories can be the best source of keeping your child or grandchild engaged, so give it a try… and watch out for gas stations!
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