Coming back from lunch today, I saw I was running a little low on gas, so I pulled into my local station. There was a car ahead of me at the pump, but the woman there was simply wiping off the side of her car with a paper towel, so I figured she was almost finished. She probably had used the squeegee on the windows and was touching it up. So, I waited.
And waited as she used this little towel the clean up the side of her car. And then moved to the back and started wiping there, as well. In crevices, everywhere. Then she switched towels and kept wiping.
I didn't want to honk, and didn't want to say anything, so I waited. And then finally got out of my car and at least stood and watched, hoping she'd look over and make eye contact or...something. But she didn't, she just kept wiping the back of her car. It was like she was...honestly, I don't know what she was doing. But she sure seemed to want to want to get every nook of her car clean with paper towels.
It was when she finally started wiping her license plate (!) -- I swear -- going carefully around every raised numeral -- that I at last politely spoke up. "Excuse me, but are you going to be long??" She looked up, almost surprised that I was there. She pointed inside the gas station and said something I couldn't make out over the noise, but assumed it had to do with paying inside. Eventually, she left to go in the station, so I waited.
And waited until she finished paying or whatever. At last she came back outside. I figured she'd get in her car now and drive off. Instead, she went to the passenger side and put something in her care over there. And then... then, she went to the pump and took out the nozzle and began filling up her car!!
I couldn't believe it. Every corpuscle in me wanted to start screaming, "Are you freaking kidding me??! You haven't even filled up your car yet?!! What in God's name have you been doing????" Instead, I looked at my clock -- it had been nine minutes -- started up my car (she never looked over) and drove off. For all I know she's still cleaning her car, or paying for something inside or doing God's knows what.
I'll fill up another time.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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