austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Spread out the oil, the gasoline

I've picked up the habit after ``work'' of stopping at a convenience store to get something to drink and maybe a snack. There are a few good spots for this, and I try to not go to the same one two days in a row. One of the spots, though, is one that I've dubbed the Quick Chek of Inadequately Suppressed Rage, because -- and I can't explain this -- each time I've been there, the people present other than me have been angry at something or other. It can't be me, since I park comfortably away from other people, pick up my items without needing help or getting in the way, pay efficiently, and get out of the way soon. Nevertheless there's a tension in the cashiers or other customers which varies in intensity but is always present.

Now back to my car. Today after getting my soda I went back out to my car, turned the key, and got ... nothing. No engine puttering, no sign of it turning over, no nothing. I turned the key again, in case I'd somehow done it wrong the first time, and got nothing once more. Quite a bit from home and with my parents off to visit one of my mother's college friends for the weekend and me without a cell phone and no idea what my brother's phone number is, this was ... not pleasant. So I groaned, unplugged the cigarette-lighter adaptor for my CD player (remember cigarette lighters in cars?), and tried again. Nothing happened, so in frustration I left the key turned, and finally the engine turned on. When I got home I found the car had no trouble starting right as the key was turned, so I dearly hope whatever that was was a highly transient fluke.

But that determination was in the future. From the Quick Chek of Inadequately Suppressed Rage parking lot I took the good fortune of the car working to start pulling out before I'd opened the soda bottle and put the straw in. As I got to within a car's length of a woman sauntering in a random walk across the parking lot, she turned, called me a particular not-highly-regarded body part and demanded to know what I thought I was doing, using rather more words than that. She was still yelling at me as I pulled back onto the highway. It's a very angry Quick Chek.

Trivia: Johann Faber dedicated a page of the 1893 catalogue to the new Acme pencil sharpener, a brass case with replaceable steel blades inserted. Source: The Pencil, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: ``I Am Not A Crook'', Art Buchwald.


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