January 31, 2011

You See Some Weird Stuff At Gas Stations

Living in a major metropolitan area like Dallas, TX, I understand that I will run across some weird scenes in the dank underbelly of the metroplex.  I've had a person at a gas station (not the one in this story) ask me how the Dallas Stars did in a hockey game (I was wearing my Hagman jersey), only to quickly change the subject and beg for money.  Talk about the transition from hell.  And how many homeless people do you know are into NHL hockey?  Do they get Versus or something under a bridge somewhere?

I've even been at a Walgreens doing overnight work and seen a homeless guy wake up in the morning dawn of downtown San Francisco only to piss in the middle of the street.  Not in a corner.  Not in an alley way.  As in, he woke up from the building he was sleeping against, and walked to the curb and pissed INTO the street, making a large yellow rainbow.  Lord knows what he did in the corner of that building around from where he slept.  Point is, you see some weird shit at the wonky hours of the night.  This story doesn't fall into that category.  This is at 5:30pm on a weekday.

Usually everybody has their routine to get gas.  For some people it's before work.  Others it's during their lunch break.  And even more still it's after work on their way home.  I'll go ahead and state this fact:  99% of people fall into this category of getting gas.  Yeah.  Pretty bold statement huh?  Well, the other .5% of people live in the wondrous world of Hippy Land and ride their bikes to work.  Awesome.  I bet they have weekly meetings on getting their chi back in order.  And thanks goes out to Chameleon for getting my TBT Reports covered in your sweaty bodily fluids.  I can't wait to turn this into the boss.  The other .5% are those very few rich people that can afford those spaceship, shitty looking electric vehicles that don't need fossil fuels.  Thanks but no thanks.  I don't want to look like a douche nozzle ass.

I'm one of those people who like to go get gas after work.  You see, I barely leave enough time in the morning to do the normal routine of taking a shower and actually cleaning myself.  I cut it close, and more often than not roll up into work 5 or 10 minutes late, every morning.  Not just a few times a week.  Every, morning bitches.  It's awesome.  Roll on up and get my granola bars (no hippie jokes please) and Monster fucking energy drink then stroll on back for some blogging (like I'm doing now).  It's great to get all of the after-work chores done and out of the way so I can go home and chill the fuck out, possibly killing a baby seal.

So on this fateful afternoon I make my way over to the luxurious Continental Ave. Exxon.  Just the name "Continental" conjures up all of these classy and eloquent features.  It makes it sound like its a one-of-a-kind very prestigious gas station where Christopher Walken greets you at the front door by name and gives you a heated towel for your face.  Oh no my friend, this is not an uppity W hotel-style gas station (which they should invent I might add).

I was actually on the phone with one of my good buddies Dalyn before I arrived, and we proceeded to chat about a number of topics, ranging from working valet, video games, and complaining about our second job manager Scott.  I pulled up into the station and went to one of the front gas pumps on the far right side (closest to the building).  I pulled my vehicle in and got myself situated next to the pump, turned the Jeep off, and continued to talk to my buddy Dalyn.

It's at this time that I see a large black woman in roughed up clothes from the Salvation Army make her way in between my Jeep and my pump and stand next to the squeegee and trash bin.  At first she made like she was heading into the store she was walking so fast, but proceeded to set up shop right next to my SUV outside my driver's side window.

The exquisite Continental Exxon is known for it's beggars.  There are no valet attendants, but it's got quite the list of varying looks for hobos.  Now, I'm not here to say that I hate or dislike homeless people.  I do not.  I want to help these people as much as the next American (which is usually nothing).  I have simply been around these homeless people for 4 years (as long as I have worked at this location), and I've seen nary a change in their situation in those 4 years no matter how many people have helped them out.  These people choose to live this way, and in return need sappy elderly hearts to continue their lifestyle.  I say fuck that (in my best Varsity Blues Moxon voice).  The moment all of their money runs out and their ploy stops working is the first day you'll see them start working as greeters at Wal-Mart.
Why give them money to continue the trend?  Buy them food.  Buy them water.  Buy them necessities that they'll actually use and appreciate.  If you do give them necessities or offer, more often than not you'll get the, "No, that's okay." out of them.  Really dude?  You're going to turn down a hot Tuesday Special (of two pieces of chiken) from Popeyes for $.99 cents or a large jug of water when I know you haven't "supposedly" eaten all day?  Oh yeah, you probably have, and you've probably eaten better than I have.  You get to live better than I do:  no job, no responsibility, no house, no bills, and no car payment or anything like that to deal with.  It must be an awesome life.  The only thing I have that you don't is an active sex life.  The sad part is, you can go behind the dumpster at McDonald's and offer a toothless bitch a dollar and she'll suck you off.  That my friends is pretty awesome.  The chlamydia and other STD dangers? Not so much.

Also at this gas station you've got the scruffy week-old bearded crazy guy with dreadlocks who plops himself down against the windows of the store, only to talk to an imaginary group of people about God knows what.  What did he say? Unicorn farts are the key to the universe? I don't know.....

You've got the older lady who smokes a carton of menthol cigarettes a day and rides around on her motorized scooter.  Wow.  I about flipped when I saw this lady.  First off, how in the fucking hell does this homeless lady charge that scooter?  Under the bridge nearby?  I'm sure as shit they don't have a 120 AC plug under there for such purposes.  But she needs that money to buy a new pair of Reebok nurse shoes with velcro or to buy another bracelet to go on her arm.  Nice.  Maybe she needs to buy new batteries for her Hoveround.

So back to the lady standing not near my Jeep, next to my Jeep.  She's been pacing around the trash-bin area no more than 4 feet away looking inside at me as I talk on the phone with Dalyn.  She's fishing for a look.  You know what I mean.  You've had those salesman at Best Buy try to get you to switch to DirectTV, or you've had those innocent enough Girl Scouts try to sell you more cookies at the grocery store.  It's an essential look to make eye contact and get an "in" to ask me for money.  I do not oblige the black lady.

She's losing valuable money/time/people as they go into the store and come out to leave.  She's dead set on getting me and my money.  I don't blame her though.  I'm a young white guy sitting inside a nicely taken care of Jeep that can obviously put money in the gas tank and take care of himself.  She continues to ask a few other people close to my pump (maybe 3 or 4 other patrons), but she doesn't ever leave the side of my Jeep to ask the people at the gas pumps far away.  She's waiting for the big fish.  Me.

It's gotten so bad that at this point I've taken notice of her shenanigans and proceed to tell Dalyn about it.  I understand her ploy, and want to make her work for it now.  It becomes a Mexican standoff.

30 or 45 minutes go by and she's still waiting me out, trying to jump at the opportunity as my door jam cracks an inch.  Still, I remain seated talking on the phone.

I'm sure as shit not getting out of the Jeep until she is gone now.

Why do I need to go through this just to go around the corner to my local gas station and pump some fucking gas?  This is flat out retarded!  I'm held hostage in this modified Stephen King Cujo-style because of a black beggar chick with no front teeth! Unbelievable.  Only Dallas man.  Only Dallas.  Oh, and probably every other large city in the US who has a homeless problem.

At the 49 minute mark I see an opening and see that the "guard dog" has left her post.  I get out to pump my gas.

I wish on a thousand stars that I had a stopwatch in my Jeep to keep track of how quick I slid my credit card and got back into the safety of the vehicle.  We all know this takes at least a minute or two, maybe more, but on this day I'd give a NASCAR pit crew a run for their money.  I was that fast with my card (swiped and accepted on the first try), and my zipcode (hastily entered).  I could have entered a zipcode for Arlington.  I don't know.

After it was all said and done, I felt bad.  Let me rephrase that:  I really didn't feel bad for her and her situation.  I just wanted to have her spend as much time as possible next to my car and finally realize she's not getting anything.  It was almost a weird game that you would see on TV where patience pays off.  Only this time for her it doesn't.  Does that make me an ass? Probably.  Do I care? No.  I wanted her to have wasted loads of her time and not get the payoff because she followed the ol' stereotype of white dude with money.

She passed on about 10 or so patrons who walked in because of her insatiable appetite to get me (and my money).  I happily prevented her from a few dollars, and maybe gave her a lesson or two.