The prodigal son has returned for a week and after joining the family for dinner last night, I made a much needed stop at a darkened Mill Valley gas station and refilled poor Rhonda the Honda. As I stood there, bundled up and cursing foreign oil policy, an older Jamaican gentleman emerged from the little cashier’s hut and wandered over to me.
“Ya want me pump your gas?”
“No, thanks. I’m cool.”
“A lady shouldn’t be fillin’ her own tank, now.”
“Oh, I’m fine. Thank you.” Go away, go away, go away. I’m in a deserted gas station and you’re freaking me out.
“Give it here to me.”
“Nope. I’m good. Thank. You.” What the hell is going on?
“I’m just tryin’ be nice, lady. You no want I pump your gas?”
Is this a metaphor for something disgusting? “NO. I am fine.”
I decided a half full tank was better than dealing with this guy any longer, and wrapped it up as he watched me.
“All done! Thanks for your help.” Ugh, get me the hell out of here.
“Hey lady, wait!” He hollered as I got back in my car. “I have something for you.”
He reached into his jumpsuit pocket and extracted a pack of gum, slowly removing one stick and handing it to me. “Dis for you, lady.”
Oh my god.
“Thank you!” I screamed, far too enthusiastically. I slammed my door shut and booked it out of there, hyper-conscious of the mysterious stick of voodoo gum sitting in the middle of the passenger seat.
It sits there still. Right this very minute. Call me paranoid. Call me a spaz. But I need some rubber gloves and a tweezers before I go near that shit again…