A Dollar Thirty Five on Pump 6 Please

January 30, 2000

I said that to the lady at the gas station on Friday night.

She looked at me, held the change in her open palm and repeated in broken English "A dollar thirty five on pump 6????"

I nodded and headed out the door.

You see, public humiliation is the consequence of having a memory that you leave at home as often as you leave your wallet.

I headed out for rollerblading, and fortunately for me, they know me at the "dome." The guard only asks for the number of my season pass and I am on my way through the turnstile.

This time as I sat putting on my skates, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Where is my wallet? I searched the pockets, the skate bag, and realized with crystal clarity, exactly where it was.

Simple, it was at home in the blue coat pocket. I switched coats, so why should it be there now. Off and on while skating I contemplated the 15-mile trip back to home. I run down to fumes with a great deal of regularity, and on the way to the rink I had even picked the gas station for the return "fill up."

Slight problem now.

At least I had 50 cents in my pocket. Well, make that 52. I wondered how far a half-gallon of gas would get me.

As I completed the evening skate, I suddenly remembered that my gym bag was in the trunk, and there were a couple of quarters inside of it. Phew, now I am up to a dollar.

Scrounging under the seats, I found 3 more dimes and one nickel.

In business, I stopped at the station, took in my 4 quarters, three dimes and a nickel, and was able to pre-pay for a whole .978 gallons of gas. I just couldn't give her the pennies.


It got me home... and after all these years; the humility of paying for a buck or two of gas does get a bit easier...

You just sorta have to learn to live with it... roll with it and sigh.

At the bank across the street the other day a new teller was waiting on me. I keep the account there, because I need a place to cash checks where someone "knows" me, because chances are, I will get to the office without a wallet.

Teller in adjacent slot says to the "newbie" ... Hey make sure he has ID.... He never carries a wallet.

Oh well.

I guess I should go throw some more change under the seats of the car.

No matter how hard you try, some things never change.