Today I had a run-in with a fellow human being. It bugged me no end for two reasons: I didn't know her prior to the run-in; my car, whose addiction to fuel has exceeded even the world's foremost experts in predicting this type of thing, caused her second verbal stoush between her owner and a third party in as many weeks. More of the first incident later as it's not important enough to receive top billing.
I bunny-hopped to a petrol rejuvenation station I call a servo in my drug-addled lil girl. Her red exterior was looking more like the pink part of a baboon's ass, if I'm thinking of the correct member of the sub-species; if not, instruct your imagination to do its best… now!
Gives I a dollar to the lady in smart-casual attire and says I, "Fill her up," expecting prompt service for my poor baby's worsening condition for the best shit on the block.
"Fill her up?" says the woman, her smile not beaming as broadly as when I had arrived; less than a full lap of a watch's thinnest hand ago.
Taking it as localised dialect of a sarcastic remark somehow lost over the course of time and perhaps in translation, I turned up the tunes and began my patented brand of music appreciation through flawless rhythmical nodding and lip curling.
I was scoring big aesthetic points when I noticed the woman tapping on the driver's window; tapping on my driver's window.
"Hey, don't do that," says I after angrily pressing the button down to deploy the window into necessary position with which to deliver appropriate dosage of fuck off spray.
"Sir," says she. "I can't fill your car up for a dollar."
Her words threw me into a tailspin: What was she talking about? Why couldn't she fill the tank up when the car was so close to the bowsers that the car could sniff the fumes into her own tank?
I could feel my baby slipping away. Was the nothing I could do?
'Perhaps this woman's really not a servo attendant,' thought I. 'Perhaps this woman's no woman at all but a show host; a prankster show host where the camera was trained solely on her and me as we danced the devilish dance of the who-does-what-to-whom-now with a momentary break as we play who-poked-who-with-what-now?
My nostrils flared as I was in the middle of angrily pulling the window button up when the woman says: "In fact, you can't even get a litre of fuel for a dollar."
It was enough to scuttle the pigeons from my dashboard and loosen the nudie pics from the roof. If that wasn't enough, it was enough to break my carefully concealed gentlemanly demeanour and send waves of adrenalin throughout my entire body.
"What!" I demanded as my fists curled tighter and the muscles in my arms, chest, thighs and pants grew.
"You can't even get a litre of fuel for a dollar," she repeated incorrigibly, emphasising the a litre part as though I were a marionette.
Thinking I was about to lose my precious baby, whose lifespan of four years had included one-and-a-half with me to that point, due to the hair-brained tortoise-like actions of a stranger with at least one set of commendable glands, I reached around for my wallet; running its own race against time while lodged between the external part of my crack and the driver's seat; my driver's seat.
Placing my wallet to where gravity would play its part, holding it open and meaningfully shaking it so every food stamp and every library card fell to my lap, demanded I: "If you can find another dollar somewhere amongst this lot then you're on your way to a better life than I, sweetheart!"
Looking back at that moment, I liked the way the veins in my neck appeared through peripheral vision in the rear-view mirror as I shouted that line.
The woman wiped her face, walked around the car to the other side and began filling.
When she was done, she handed me a receipt.
"And what am I going to do with that, sweetheart?" questioned I. "Do you think my accountant will expect it to rightly balance the annual figures?"
It seemed one question did suffice for in the middle of the second she did turn her back and walk to where someone had undoubtedly raised her from her sleep and pushed her towards my gorgeous machine upon our arrival.
The empty light came on as soon as the ignition did, but neither hell nor high moral ground on the philosophy of drug use as it related to artistic endeavour stopped our journey to the bottle shop.