Thursday, April 21, 2005

Gasoline and M & M's

I stopped at a Ma and Pop Store close to my house for gas this morning. Usually the gas is more there, but lately it really doesn't matter where you go--its all expensive. Most of the stores now require that you prepay before pumping. So I did. I made small talk with the daytime lady who works there. She always asks where Ben is. He usually runs over to the store with me when we run out of stuff while he's at my house.

While she gave me my change, a skinny young white guy stood beside me humming under his breath. He called the lady 'Baby' (she's over 50) and told her he needed gas too and cigarettes. He followed me out of the store. We were on opposite sides of the same pump. His old school camaro was hopping to some rap music. As the gas pumped, he nodded at me and said, "Hey Shurty, you dig M & M?"

Since I am wearing low-rise jeans, a t-shirt that says "All-Star Mermaids" and a pair of platform type loafers, I figured I could go along with his 'rap star' image and 'live the dream too.' In my best bitchin' voice I said, "Yo, Dawg I do." I'm thinking plain. Penutty is ok but I've always been a plain Jane.

He said, "Got dat right. I love dis song. He puts the pimp in pimpin'."

It occurred to me that he meant Eminem, the white rappin' guy. The 8-Mile movie guy. I continued pumping. Hey, let him assume I knew what he meant from the start.

He continued the conversation. "Gas is too damn high. Between it and cigarettes, I can't afford to live. If I lived closer to town I would get a moped."

"Mopeds burn gas too. Bikes are more energy efficient. But with the way drivers are today, there's no common courtesy left. Bikes and mopeds don't stand a chance."

He agreed. "Auto drivers are rude to other auto drivers. We don't stand a chance, do we Shurty?"

He had a point. As I put the cap back on my tank I said, "Yep, mopeds burn gas faster--their tanks are smaller than cars. You would be at the station every day almost. Bikes... they're the way to go." (I decided not to go into my goat and cart idea as the wave of the future.)

He disagreed. "Naw. Bikes are too much work. I would have to quit smoking."

As I unlocked my door, I said "But think of the bucks you would save. I'm audi. Keep it real, dawg."

And I drove off into the misty blue.

It occurred to me later how, we want things to be fast, easy and cheap. But if we can't have all three, a lot of us sacrifice the cheap part just so life is easy.

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