#727 Letting go of the gas pump at just the right moment

the right tool for the jobI hate $19.98.

When I’m pumping my car full of that sweet-smelling black gold, I get tense when I’m two cents away from a nice, round number. Maybe I’ve got a twenty dollar bill in my pocket or maybe I’m throwing it on a credit card. Either way, I just can’t be that satisfied with a $20.01 pump. If I hit $20.03 or $20.04, it’s like I wasn’t even paying attention. Call me The Big Squeeze at that point, because I clearly don’t know what I’m doing.

Not the same thing at allBut if the opposite happens, if I tap that handle ever so sweetly and let a little thimble of gasoline drip into my tank so the numbers curl up to twenty bucks even, then it’s time to high-five the passengers, call the papers, and get ready for a beautifully changeless transaction.

For a split-second you transform.

Gone is mom driving the kids home from ballet, gone is the pizza driver doing a quick fill before midnight, gone is the sweaty suit pumping a fast one before riding the expressway to the office downtown.

Obviously a ninja

Gone, gone, they’re all just gone.

Passers-by will squint at those pumps and swear they noticed something. Kids staring out the back of the station wagon will turn to each other and drop their jaws. Later on, newspaper reporters will write down eye-witness accounts from old folks on the porch across the street. “It must have been my imagination,” they’ll say. “But I swear I saw someone dressed all in black.”

People, if you let go of the gas pump at just the right moment, they’re talking about you.

Because you are The Pump Ninja.


Twenty bucks? I'm on it

Photos from: here, here, and here

8 thoughts on “#727 Letting go of the gas pump at just the right moment

  1. Filling the tank is such an arduous process for me, because I do the whole “Squeeze-release-squeeze-release-squeeze” thing the entire time, trying to get the few extra (free!) drops that leak out of the pump when you stop.

    Ahh, the life of a poor university student is indeed thrilling…

  2. Since I now drive so much, I fill up often and the most important part of that process is stopping on an even dollar amount. The past two times at the pump I did it!!! I’m always so thrilled when it happens! If it goes a few cents over, I then have to try to get to a round cents amount…35.02…nope, I have to go for 35.25 or 35. 50. Besides hating paying a high price per gallon, I get grumpy when the price goes up because then it’s even harder to stop on the precise mark.

  3. I just use a credit card. I don’t have to worry anymore. I don’t care if it lands on 22.22 or 47.19. I don’t even look. I hated the days before that. Hitting 20.02 and walking up to the counter tediously, wondering if the attendant is going to hit me up for the 2 cents.

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