Growing up in Oregon was a wonderful experience. The beach was about an hour away. The mountains with year round snow were about an hour away. The Columbia Gorge - full of canyons, rivers, and waterfalls - was about an hour away. As an Oregonian, I grew up with funny cultural quirks and oddities. One of the weirdest of these oddities is that you are not allowed to pump your own gas. Yes, that means it is absolutely ILLEGAL to touch the nozzle. So, I grew up watching my parents drive up to the gas station, roll down the window, and tell the gas station attendant how much gas they wanted.
When I got married to Adam, he swept me down to Alabama, where I experienced quite a culture shock. One of my favorite memories is having to pump my own gas for the first time. Yes, I had to learn how to unscrew that little cap to put the gas in and pump my own gas. Let’s not talk about how long I waited in my car at the gas station for the attendant…so embarrassing.
I’m sure you’re already amused, but my story is about a night out at dinner with all of Adam’s intelligent, geek friends. Yes, extremely intelligent, nerdy computer loving, video game playing, ooh I love a great math puzzle type of friends. I was getting some great laughs that night and was feeling really comfortable with everyone. Then the conversation switched to politics and the recent rise in gas prices; this was 2002, so we were not used to expensive gas. I felt out of place all of a sudden and saw a chance to jump in. After all, I was a pump-your-own-gas person now, so I must have some great insight right? WRONG.
“You know, I wonder how long this 1987 gas is going to last? Was that just a really great year for harvesting gas or something? I mean, it’s 2002 already.”
Everyone just stopped and looked at me. Not quite the response I was looking for. I filled the weird silence with some more idiot talk.
“You know, the year the gas is harvested: 87, 91, and 93. We should tap in to the later years of gas like 95, 97, and 99”
That did it. Laughter, lots and lots of laughter. Everyone was just dying, and I just looked confused. I mean, I know “harvested” was probably not the technical term, but they knew what I meant. Right?
Oh yeah, they knew what I meant. They knew that I actually thought that the octane level was really the year that particular barrel of gas was “harvested.” Everyone proceeded to correct me and there was more laughing as I explained that I had never pumped my own gas until a few weeks earlier.
What a great night! Stay tuned for some more great stories; I have loads of them.