Today I pulled into a service station to get my petrol, in a tidy and timely manner.
I always like to pull up to the side of the pumps adjacent to my filler. The times I have tried to stretch the pump over the top of the car, then somehow twist the handle sideways so it will only just reach the hole, and only the end of the nozzle will go in — no thanks. Life is awkward enough as it is.
Today, I waited for the person in front of me to finish up pumping his gas and then proceed to the payment area, and leave to get on with his life.
Sadly, he did not. Instead, he looked around at me, sitting there patiently, and walked to the front of his car and put the bonnet up.
I should have known.
He was driving a Prius, and was wearing a pair of knit material shorts, a t-shirt, trainers and the expression of entitlement.
Perhaps he’d “knocked off” for the weekend; it was 2.30 on a Friday after all. He’d probably finished up for the day with a few terse emails to his PA, putting his out-of-office reply on; “on my return to the office on Monday I will be deleting any new emails, if it’s really important, email me Monday”, and tearing a couple of employees a new one.
I watched him intently as he fussed around under the bonnet, then moved around to the hatch of the car, lifting the wheel-well cover, reaching in to get some sort of anally-retentive screwdriver set.
Who knew what he was doing, perhaps he was going to do some kind of super-charger conversion, all the while a line of cars snaked out of the station and onto the footpath.
Soon, he was back under the bonnet again, tinkering around. The gas had long finished and the pump sat flaccidly in the tank.
Presently, he emerged again and it looked promising that he might actually leave, but instead he strode purposefully into the shop, all the while looking around at the growing queue and smugly thinking that we all could just damn well wait, who were we anyway, with our relatively simple needs and goals.
Back he came with a litre of engine oil — he’d probably paid twice what he should have — but this did not once faze him in his determination to waste the lives of at least four other humans, who had now sunk into the pit of despair and turned their engines off.
What became of Prius Man? I’m sad that I’ll never know because I duly reversed as soon as a free pump came up and gapped it the fuck out of there.
I filled my tank, which took a matter of a couple of minutes and I was pleasant to the staff member at the counter: “Thank you, no, I don’t wish to buy three Moro bars or swipe my Mobil Surprises (or whatever) loyalty card.”
As I left the shop, Prius Man was red-faced and huffy, wrestling with life and the cards he’d been dealt; a steady high-paid job for life, an economy company car, and overall access to virtually any space on the planet without question, and got into my car and drove away.
I imagine he’ll be home now, watching his power meter monitor installed on his laptop and fiddling around with some new speakers for the Smart TV.
Go well Prius Man, I certainly hope that bonnet hinge didn’t malfunction and crash down on your head at any stage.