Saturday, December 09, 2006

Gas PainsIt was yesterday.
It was actually the 1950's, and they justifiably called them service stations. You drove in with your car and stopped next to the pump. Did I say car? If you're younger than, say, 50, you don't realize what that means.
It meant a solid, heavy metal tank with seat covers and a little triangular window on the door. That little window, placed just ahead of where the side window is now days, could be opened and turned to direct a torrent of wind onto the hot driver. This was a good thing as there were no air conditioners in cars back then. Of course, opening that window screwed up the aerodynamics of the beast. No matter, gas was 25 cents a gallon. But I've digressed...and I won't even go into the size of the back seat (can you say king-sized bed?).
You'd drive up to the pump, and an attendant would immediately appear. Usually two. With a nonchalance of a millionaire in a thrift shop, you'd say, "Fill 'er up." You were confident because you had a fiver in your pocket and would be leaving with change...and, often, a free glass. Need a map? Help yourself...they're free.
While one guy filled your tank (no automatic turn off, you had to hold it all the while it filled...and, I digress again), another guy (sometimes a third, as well), checked your oil (showing you the dip stick in the process), checked the air in your tires and washed all the windows. And you? You never left the car. They brought you your change, and you drove off.
It's different now. Is it better? That's for you to decide. Besides, if you're too young, you haven't believed a word I've written here. I swear it's true.
Paddle safe...


JohnB said...

Glad those back seats didn't talk!

Those were the good ol' days they were. . .

derrick said...

Yeah, I remember. I used to be the kid at the pump!

Alex said...

You do realize that $0.25 in 1950 adjusted for inflation turns out to be $1.94 in 2005. I think I just filled up the tank of my modern car (with improved power, safety, enviromental impact, ergonomics, etc) at Costco for like $2.05/gallon. Nostalgia for the good old days is one thing but the reality of gasoline prices is that they are still relatively low. But hey, I'm just a punk kid so what do I know. :)