Sunday, August 23, 2009

fast times at Shell gas station

when i turned 16, i got a car. a purplish-blue 1997 ford taurus, "The Wide Woman" or "The Purple Bullet" as we liked to call her. but, she didn't ride for free. i had to get an after school job and pay for my own gas (and my own cell phone at that. me and my cousin B had a 2-year plan together that we started after being hooked by the cingular booth at the yakima fair, can you blame us?)

so pay for my gas i did. then 2 years later my sister M turned 16. and she couldn't get a job because "she had a seroius committment-filled after-school sport." effing volleyball. the fact that i did dance, drill team and swim team didn't count for anything in my parents' eyes. thanks, support team.

so she got a magical gas card. (and a cell phone by the way) FREE. just free. while i had to work for my everyday necessities in high school, her athletic ability bypassed her through life. well my parents just couldn't give her all these goodies and leave me in the dust (i would never let them), so i too got my cell phone paid for....and my magical plastic gas card. there he was (only mine didn't say Chris Morgan).

it was a passionate love affair. we grew inseperable. he had the primo spot in my wallet (this was before Hello Kitty Credit Card of course) and he was like gold. he filled my tank on those visits to friends, and allowed me to offer to drive whenever there was a road trip. he got me through those college days when i spent all my grocery money on clothes. one little slide through the machine, and that strawberry-kiwi gatorade, 12-pack of hostess donettes and zebra stripe gum were mine. he provided me with a king size bag of chex mix that fed me for 3 days that one time i couldn't live without the maroon Juicy zip-up sweatshirt. and he gave me ample amounts of busch light tall boys during those summer nights in 2007. he bought me that nasty bean burrito that one time at 2 am which i later barfed, and he bought me and the girls beer when we ran out at my bachelorette party...and that was the last time he let me use him for alcohol.

you see, on the day before my wedding, i filled up my car with him one last time, then i laid him gently on a bed of paper, inside a thank you card. i gave him back to my parents, just as beautiful as the day i got him, shiny and clean, ready to give and give. you see, my sister MM turns 16 in October, and i was warned i would have to say goodbye to him, for i was to be traded in for a younger and fresher girl. it was time for my love to see the sights and have adventures with someone new. i wiped the single tear that made its way down my cheek and gave him one last kiss before sealing the envelope.

and this last month i have realized:

HOLY SHIT gas is expensive.


  1. this was the worst decision of your life. do you recall the weekend in seattle when he allowed us to only spend $20 for 3 days of drunken fun?? now we'll all really have to "chip in for gas." damn.

  2. Dont feel so bad... I also had to buy my own cell phone while the younger sib got one for free.... and he didnt even play volleyball. cursed younger siblings

  3. "He" [aka Shellton Plastique]really appreciates the rest LL. Never have had a gas card. Could have used one for those "emergencies". Case in point? Once whilst attending Willamette University, I drove all the way up to Olympia to see Mimi & Papa for a requisite familiy thing on a 1/4 tank of gas [a three hour I-5 trip]. Now, usually, this was at least a 3/4 tank trip in my institutuional green [aka puke green] 1965 Chevy 1/2 ton, but I was a man of faith [and absolutely no means]. Faith in the NASCAR art of "drafting". I got behind a huge Coka Cola semi just north of Salem and he pulled me all the way home to Hwy 101 where we parted ways. I don't advise this tactic, because you literally have to be a few feet off the semi's rear bumper, necessitating near-godly attentiveness and diligence. Needless to say, the three hours went by in a flash and I was exhausted. Stupid, stupid, stupid. More than ill-advised. The truck driver finally figured out he had a piggy backer somewhere around Chehalis. Understandably, he was pissed. Long and short? I could have used a card as well. Your folks were wise to shell out for gas. Excellent risk management on their part. e

  4. I feel your pain. Carmen still doesn't have an effing job while poor me has been working for the better half of a decade!!

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