I Think They’ve Got Me Right Where They Want Me

My little gas pump icon came on last night on my way home from church and I pulled into the closest gas station. I went through all the button-pushing process: “yes” button to enter my 10-digit phone number for savings. Then enter the 10-digit phone number and hit “enter.” It processed. I was told to insert my payment card. Enter 4-digit PIN number and hit enter. It processed again. Told me savings per gallon. Then I was told to select the grade of gasoline I wanted and to pick up the nozzle.

The gas pumped. I leave the door open so I can listen to music and let the handle do all the work. Regina Spektor’s “Poor Little Rich Boy” was entertaining me while I waited. I didn’t feel like squeegee-inig the windows.

The handle clicked. I rounded up to get an even $35.50, desperately trying to avoid the oversqueeze of $35.51.

The machine asked me if I wanted a receipt. I did, and made the mental note that it took me 19 pushes of a button to complete the transaction. I remembered when I was a kid you just sat there and popped the hood while the attendant checked the oil and washed the windows. Usually, when he was finished we got glass with an NFL helmet logo (we completed over half the teams before they changed the promotion and you got a steak knife with every fill-up) I got my receipt and paid attention to the cost per gallon.

It was $3.12 per gallon.

And I was happy.


The gas companies have me right where they want me.