Sunday, February 06, 2005

Can't Pump This

MC Hammer runs my local gas station. Not really, but that song was going through my head this afternoon as I tried to fill up the truck.

Not a big deal, I've been to this gas station a thousand times. Pump 9. So often it says 6, 7, 8, Bill, 10, 11...

My pump.

So, I run my card through the reader, so far so good, select my grade, El Cheapo, and pump.

Click. Click. Clickity-click. Wha? I wait a few seconds. Click. Click. Click.


Then I notice a lady at Pump 8 having problems, too.

"Is this thing working?", she asked.

"Dunno", I replied, "mine is just clicking and no gas. Oh, now it says 'See Cashier'. Not a good sign."

And I wandered up to the little booth where the Cashier is imprisoned and I rapped on the window: Pump 9, is it working?

"You did something wrong and pump screwed up! It fixed now. You try again."

I tried again and nothing. Nada. No gas. Clickity-click. I looked around and everybody was having the same no gas experience. I went back to see the cashier.

"It your fault!", he exclaimed, "You no how to pump gas."

I refrained from the obvious reply and decided to cut my losses, head down the road and gas up elsewhere. I wasn't the only one who came to this conclusion. As I was getting into my truck the lady from Pump 8 caught my eye and, boy, was she furious.

"He says I can't pump gas!", she fumed, "Why I've been pumping gas since Daddy lost his arm in the grain thrasher."

That was enough info for me and I headed out to the highway wondering if Daddy had wished the thrasher had run out of gas a few moments earlier.

1 comment:

Andrew Purvis said...

I wonder what the weather conditions were that day and whether or not your nozzle (the one on the pump, not the one with the fractured English) had one of those reclamation hoods.

My wife, being more right than I about a car for a change, once pointed out to me that those stupid little rubber jackets that make the pumps look uncircumcised can cause more problems than they solve, or at least they can on hot days. Here's how it works:

You start to pump, but the heat in the line has created a buildup of gas fumes. These fumes, trapped as they are supposed to be in the little rubber thing in search of a moyl, thinks your tank is full and shuts off the flow. Clicks and such follow. The only solution is to hold the little *I won't get so graphic as to name it* back with one hand and run the pump with the other.

Sometimes you can release it after a gallon or two, trusting to the liquid gasoline to condense the fumes enough to allow your tank to fill. More often, however, you have to use two hands the whole way.

I can't say that such was your problem, but if the atmospheric conditions were right and there was fuel in the underground tanks, this may have been the solution.