It has been quite some time since my experiences in this wild and wonderful world have led me to write of the preposterousness everyday life provides. This does not mean, that the awkward, bizarre, curious, eyebrow-raising, head-scratching buffonery has not occurred; merely, the degree of bewilderment I have experienced, has not propelled me towards the keyboard with the eagerness or enthusiasm of a homemaker who just discovered a new life-hack.
Our culture, and social structure being as it is, simply continuing to exit the house on a daily basis is guaranteed to provide source material that causes one to slowly, disgustedly, shake ones head from side to side, and to bring ones palm, dejectedly to ones forehead.
How unlikely is it, that the impetus to bellow and bemoan would come from a simple trip to the gas station for a refuel?
Sadly, and not too unexpectedly, this is precisely where ridiculousness occurs.
Pulling into, and filling ones gas tank with the combustible fluid required for the vehicles operation, should be a simple act. It should not require a great deal of time, effort, or thought. It, realistically, should only be a process that one must bear with moderate delay, unless, if near the gas station, there are one of many events that brings a horde of people to a place simultaneously. The possible events could be, a concert, a conference, an auto show, a political gathering, a theater event, or some other draw that pulls masses together.
There were no such event occurring nearby, when I pulled into the red and yellow accented gas purveyor, to find all pumps occupied. Though this was a curiosity, but, as those who regularly drive know, it may happen on the rare occasion. Per reasonable driver etiquette, summary station availability analysis, and after cursory pump evaluation, I selected the stall whose orientation most easily allowed me to align the gas tank door without backing up or turning around, and pulled my car behind a vehicle which had no driver pumping fuel, assuming the navigator was in the building making payment.
And, I waited.
Cars swung through the pumps to my right, and left. The vehicle in front of me, of course, did not move. I pondered what kind of elaborate order the driver might be fingering, with greasy digits, onto the smeared touchscreen, causing this elaborate delay, as I tried to maintain patience. Several more cars finished fueling, and departed to the road, or at least, to spaces close to the station. Still, the vehicle in front of me, did not move, nor did its owner appear to shift it from its stall.
Muttering curses under my breath, I backed away from the car blocking my refuel, spun around the parking lot, and halted next to the vehicle, my gas tank now facing the other pump, and the rear of my car pointing towards the station.
I looked to my right, before exiting my car, and looked in through the passenger window of the shabby sedan.
In the driver’s seat, sat a man, slumped down so that he was not visible from the rear of his car. He had his phone in his right hand, towards which his oblivious gaze was focused, as he casually thumbed the screen.
A volcanic rage, that felt like the violent, sharp, burning of stomach acid, churned in my gut, and worked its way to my throat. Just before I could spew the brimstone out with incendiary epithets, an internal, calm, rational voice dissented, and I choked down the burning, vitriolic curses, and swallowed the chunks of smoldering wrath, as I exited my car, and moved to unscrew the gas cap.
I completed the refuel of my car, and the oblivious, inconsiderate, or both, driver, continued to manipulate his phone, while the car continued to block any access to the pump. There was a moment, right before I turned the key, where I was tempted to approach the ignoramus, bang on the window of his vehicle, forcing him to engage with me, at which point, I would have provided him the courtesy and gift of a portion of my mind. But I thought better of it, as the cars, with their very observant passengers, continued to come and go through the gas stalls.
Someone else should have had the pleasure of shaking their head at this preposterous scenario, I shouldn’t have been the only one allowed this sort of head smacking enjoyment, sad and ridiculous as it is. Maybe the next driver to pull up behind the dunce blocking the gas pump, will wait at first, patiently, then with agitation, then, he won’t wait anymore. Maybe he will pull around, next to the still-candy-crushing-in-the-pumping-lane troglodyte, and not have a halcyon voice to quell his exasperation, nor the awareness of the social consequences of acting upon his incredulity.
Though quite the frustrating experience, wouldn’t the most gratifying way to have resolution be to assume a close-by parking spot, and observe how this parked-car-at-the-pump scenario played out?
Perhaps, the aforementioned, postulated patron approaches the ignoramus, and a fantastic donnybrook occurs. Perhaps, the car-sitter, continues to do so for an indeterminate time, then a random passenger approaches, opens the right door of the vehicle, and the two drive off without further commotion, or lack thereof. Maybe this unmoving car, with its bizarrely oblivious tinder fanatic, is broken down, just unlucky enough to be blocking a gas pump when the ‘ole engine died, and is waiting for a tow?
I’ll certainly never know what happened with this bizarre scenario, or the true identity, of the gas pump squator.
I had to move on, to have more experience, to continue to bemoan this human condition.