Once Again, Age and Guile Triumph Over Youth and Talent

America's Oldest Filling Station

We’re at the gas station . . . I’m in the passenger seat while my son fills ‘er up.

“This pump doesn’t have any way to lock the handle in place,” he says. “I have to stand here and hold it.”

“Really?” I say. Don’t pumps always have a way to lock the handle?

“Yeah, really,” he says. “I’m 100 percent sure.”

I’m about to get out of the car to look things over when he says, “Don’t get out of the car.”

Ignoring this admonition, I get out of the car anyway and sure enough, the pump did have a locking mechanism at one time but it’s been removed.

“You owe me 10 dollars,” the boy says.


“I told you you had to hold it,” he says.

“I didn’t say you didn’t. I just wanted to size up the situation.”

The problem is that in the process of sizing it up, I’m now left holding the pump while the boy, satisfied with his presumptive victory, pulls out his cell phone and starts punching in a text message.

Meanwhile, I take the old school approach of wedging the gas cap into the pump handle, holding it in the on position.

The boy is too busy texting to notice this development, so I wave my hands in front of his face and point to the pump, which is happily pumping away hands-free.

Well sir, I wish you could have seen the look on his face. He was a beaten man . . .

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