This story begins on a lovely Friday afternoon. I’m talking to my sister over the bluetooth system on my car, which is totally pimp (aka awesome, stellar, neat, radical, coolio, etc). We are chatting and my damn gas light comes on. I have about 10 miles until the next gas station that is close enough to the highway to not be considered a detour on my trip.
I react to my gas light with the phrase, “m*****r f****r”. My sister’s response is to remind me to watch my language. She is a mommy now after all. (I’d like to note she cursed as much as me, just a tad less colorful with the adjectives). I declare out loud that I’m going to make it to the Shell Station on 51. It’s only about 10 miles… I can totally make it. And if I don’t make it I have pizza in the car so I won’t starve. I’ll call someone to come and bring me gas. I feel strongly against walking alongside the highway. I’m not in the mood to be kidnapped, raped or ransomed. It’s been a long friggin week.
I ignore my growing anxiety by continuing to talk to my sister and the babies and ramble on until I can tell that she is about to blow her gasket. I’m annoyed she isn’t listening to me. She is annoyed that I am talking over her two children, she is annoyed also with her two children. Her children are annoyed she is talking into the little box again. Anyways, I only have about 2 miles left at this point and let her go.
Finally, like the sunrise after a long night… the shell station comes into view.
Pause a moment for Shell appreciation.
I pull up to the only available pump which makes me the creamy center of a Harley Davidson trailer-haulin Oreo. No big deal. I start pumping my gas. It’s a nice day so I stand out by the pump while it is happily spending my paycheck. I notice that the guys (3 in each truck) seem to be done filling up with gas. However they are just standing around now. 3 on each side. Just looking.
Now, this only is funny if they break into a West Side Story inspired singing and finger-snapping dance routine. Then I would have sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the show. Nope, that did not happen. They stared at me. I checked to make sure I didn’t have any unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions going on. I didn’t appear to. I go to take a drink of my soda out of the car… nervous twitch.
I turn around and realize one of them is just standing there. Eating cheetos. Staring. Not shyly staring. Blatantly staring. I am quite sure in that moment he thought I was a Cheeto. Something about the gleam in his eye and the drool on his chin made me exceedingly uncomfortable. I’m sure someone, somewhere loves him. And wipes his butt for him when he has an “uh oh”. That person was not around however to keep him from making me feel like a cheap three dollar cheeto.
The whole ordeal was very unsettling and I finally got all the gas pumped and jumped back into the car. I noticed that the machine was asking if I needed my receipt. I had the thought, f*&% that. If I get back out of the car, I’m just going to be Cheeto-sized again. Then I thought, shit… he might hit “yes” when I walk away then he would have a name to go with his cheeto fantasy. I decided he probably couldn’t read and I would be damned if I was getting out of that car again.
I calmly drove away. And began immediately texting people about my Cheeto experience. Thankful to be alive and with all my extremities still attached and not hanging out of the cheeto-saurus rex’s drooly mouth.