Dear man in front of me at the gas station,
Hello. It’s great to talk to you. You might remember me. I’m the person who was behind you in line at the gas station that seemed to be slightly impatient.
While I’m sure you thought this was rude, let me explain myself.
While I was at work, I had a craving for a delightful beverage, more specifically a carbonated soda-like beverage. Since I do not carry a soda machine around with me most days due to the massive weight of it, I did not have this drink with me.
Over lunch I drove to the gas station nearest my place of employment to procure such a beverage. After minutes of deliberation, I settled on a nice Diet Mountain Dew. I like Diet Mountain Dew because it has all of that wonderful Mountain Dew flavor with none of the Mountain Dew calories. Also, it is the color of radioactive urine.
That is when I got in line behind you. As a person who was on a strict time limit, I was not thrilled about the presence of a line. I briefly thought about punching you in the face so I could take your spot, but that seemed rude and unnecessary. Also, being charged with assault takes more time than waiting in line.
I decided that you must have a very important transaction to make. Perhaps you had run out of gas down the road and you were forced to leave your pregnant wife and family of four in the grueling heat as you trekked to get that much needed fuel, lest your family be stranded forever. After all, we don’t want another Donnor party situation. Cannibalism is decidedly bad.
I watched as you made your way up to the front counter and I waited, hoping to find out what was so important that you had to interrupt my lunch break. Perhaps you needed ice to keep the human kidney you were transporting cool so it could save the life of a foreign dignitary. Maybe you were attempting to buy the tools to create a MacGyver style device that will thwart an evil terrorist plot, all from a lottery scratcher ticket, a lighter, and a taco flavored tacquito. Maybe you were just trying to borrow the fire extinguisher because someone had made the mistake of smoking while they pumped gas. Someone has to be a hero.
I can say now that that hero is not you.
“I’d like a ten dollar bill,” you said as you piled coins on the counter, emptying your pockets while a line of people actually wanting to buy something waited behind you.
The coins piled up into a mountain as the gentleman behind the counter tried his hardest to keep up with you, counting nickels and dimes furiously, sweat falling from his brow.
Speaking of sweat, my plastic cup had accumulated quite a bit at this point, to the extent that it had become slippery. Yet, I said nothing, grasping onto my cup like I was holding a wet seal, hoping to eventually get my turn at the front of the line.
I do understand that having that much change in your pockets must be frustrating. After all, your pants were probably about to fall under all of that added weight.
Gas stations are not banks, though. If you would like to exchange your money, banks would be a more appropriate place for that particular transaction. Banks, after all, deal with money. Gas stations, meanwhile, deal with beef jerky, nasty bathrooms and, of course, gas.
To put it another way, this would be like me going to a local bank to buy a soda. Does that sound like a stupid idea? Yes, as a matter of fact it does.
So next time you have change, please go somewhere besides a gas station with it. I might be trying to buy some sort of carbonated beverage or something. You know, doing what you are supposed to at a gas station.