Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Adventures in buying petrol in the garden state

In the early hours of New Years day (~02:00 GMT -04:00) I found myself at a gas station just outside the wrong end of the Holland tunnel. I had to parallel park in the center of a three pump island since it was the only available pump at the gas station.

I soon realized that this backup was caused by a lack of a station attendant. Since this was the garden state, it is illegal to pump your own gas. I often attempt to do so anyway, and sometimes succeed. I've never had the opportunity to do so in the presence of law enforcement, but I'd be willing to risk a night in jail to see how well the law is enforced.

So I park between a NYC livery cab and a towncar with Jersey plates. I believe the Jersey plates said "omnibus," which seems to be what taxi plates say. The New York driver was pumping his gas, and the Jersey driver was contemplating doing so. I don't know if he was afraid to or simply didn't know how. Its possible to reach the gas station via side streets so its entirely possible that he has never been outside of the garden state.

As I'm pumping my gas the station attendant appears. He aids the man who would not pump his own gas. I get back in my car with the childish pride of someone who has just gotten away with minor mischief and drive to the girlfriends house.

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