My dearest fellow gas station patron,
How have you been? I know we only saw each other this morning but it seems like it’s been forever. What’s that? You don’t remember me? Well, I was the person standing behind you in line this morning, I’m sure you heard several “Umphs” and “Seriously?!?s” and other generally disgusted sighs coming from directly behind you. Well that was me. You remember me now? Great!
I can understand that you probably felt my impatience was slightly unfounded and I just thought I might need to take some time to explain myself.
You see, I drive quite a ways to work every morning and by the time I get there, I’m usually hungry or thirsty, or I just want to get out and walk around. This morning, my destination of choice was the truck stop right off the highway where I exit. It’s very convenient for me however, almost always very busy, even at 615 in the morning.
I decided to pull in despite the fact that I know I will always have to wait in line. After walking around inside for a few minutes I finally grabbed a bottle of water and some Chex mix, probably not the healthiest breakfast I agree, but the decision was made and there was not turning back.
Since I was trying to get to work as soon as possible so as not to lose my favorite parking spot, I was slightly annoyed with myself for choosing a facility with notoriously long lines but, being the nice person that I am, I allowed you to go in front of me. I briefly thought about wedging you out for that position but the nice person inside me won out.
I made the split decision that you had a far more important mission to complete than I. Maybe you had run out of gas on the side of the highway, you had left your pregnant wife and two year old twins sitting in the safety of the locked car while you made the treacherous hike along I-35 to obtain replacement fuel. I don’t know what I would have done had I been responsible for you taking even one more second longer to return to your desperate family. I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to them.
The burden of your poor family weighed heavy on my heart and I immediately felt better about allowing you to go in front of me in line.
I have to admit, I was quite anxious as you made your way to the counter; I couldn’t wait to hear you recount your perilous tale to the cashier. The closer and closer we came to the front of the line the more evident it became that you weren’t sweating, nor did you appear fatigued, so I began to rule out the stranded family. You did seem more and more nervous, however. Now it became apparent to me that you had been tasked with something far more important than simply saving your family, you had been chosen to save the entire world.
Perhaps you needed a bag of 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 would thwart an evil terrorist attack, all from a lottery scratch-off, a lighter, and a taco flavored taquito. Someone has to be the hero.
I know now that the award of hero does not go to you, my friend.
You walked up to the counter, looked the cashier squarely in the eye and pulled something out of your pocket. I have to admit, I was slightly terrified at this moment, seeing how nervous you had been standing in line, and it took everything in me not to hit the floor and scream “Gun!”
“Can you give me a ten dollar bill?”
It was now that I realized you had not produced a gun from your pocket but rather a baggie full of change and you didn’t stop there. You proceeded to pull change from every pocket on your body. I stood behind you in disbelief as I watched pocket lint float to the ground.
The cashier behind the counter tried her hardest to keep from turning the color of her red uniform shirt. She seemed to get more and more flustered as you threw pennies, nickels, and dimes at her
Now, let me just say, I know that it’s annoying being weighed down by a pocket full of change, I can only imagine how frustrated you must have been lugging around all that extra weight however, gas stations are not banks. If you would like to exchange money, I would think that the more appropriate choice of establishment would be your local bank.
See, banks are well equipped for handling things like money. I know that may sound shocking but banks deal with money; gas station deal with chips, drinks, dirty restrooms, and of course, gas.
So my dear friend, I am writing you this little message to advise you that you may want to go somewhere other than a gas station to finalize your next money related transaction. I will forgive you this time but rest assured, when you are at the gas station and actually trying to save your pregnant wife from being eaten by a swarm of hungry lady bugs, I will not be so kind to you.