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How Californians React to Oregonians Pumping Their Gas

"Yeah, tha Fire Marshall doesn't take too kindly to people who don't let us pump their gas."


If I can remember correctly, it was my first time driving across state lines in my own car on my own time. I was surely trying to be more careful than fast even though I was mildly unaware that I chose to travel during one of tha most treacherous seasons...Winter. Before leaving Seattle after a hectic Summer of heartbreak and emotional stress, I stopped in tha South End to get my hair braided. Grabbed an ounce of tree from tha dispensary then hit i5 South to Los Angeles. I didn't even get an oil change or tuneup. The Mercury Grand Marquis is a great vehicle!

So, I'm driving and driving making my way toward the Washington/Oregon border. I really wanted to stop off in Portland and revisit some old home grounds but I thought it would be best if I kept it pushing. I mean, I had to make sure that if nothing else, I would get myself home...even if tha car breaks down. I ended up pulling over at a gas station in Salem, Oregon to get some shuteye for tha night because I knew tha rest of tha drive would be a long stretch thru California. I wanted to be wide awake for that drive. Because after being in Washington for tha first time, I experienced (and survived) my first car crash in Samammish, WA. I won't go into details, but let's just say, Thank You, God I am still alive. 


Nevertheless, before I pull into a random parking spot, I thought I'd go ahead and gas up first so when I wake up, I can just jump on tha freeway and push. I pull into a station. As I'm cruising making my way to a gas pump, there's a guy in a yellow/orange vest ever so casually walking in tha same direction I'm headed. Subconsciously, I'm thinking, at some point this guy has got to switch his direction, right? Well, sure enough, as I pull up to tha pump and park, tha vest guy is already at my window trying to tell me to pop my gas cover. Something I'm definitely not used to being from California or even Washington for that matter. "As a State Law, we have to pump your gas for you," says tha vest guy. I'm still trying to process why someone would just walk up on my car like that. Where I come from, it's way too hazardous to be moving like that in tha streets.

It didn't take much restraint, but honestly, I just wanted to let my rebellious side out. Like, what do you mean you have to pump my gas? What if I don't want you touching my property? What if I don't trust you. In my head, I skipped past all of those thoughts and replied," Ok, well, can I pay for it first?" He tells me yea, sure go ahead. As I walk into tha gas station to put money on tha pump, I'm having a lot of smart-ass thoughts go thru my head. I start envisioning different ways it would turn out based off tha response I give him when I get back to my car. In a way, I kind of felt disrespected. You know, not having a choice of whether I wanted to pump my own gas. 


By time I get back to my car, I wanted to tell him that if he wanted a job, he can just go to California or Washington if it is truly that serious. But, instead, I chose to just give him a tip $$ for his service as he replied," Yeah, tha Fire Marshall doesn't take too kindly to people who don't let us pump their gas." As much as I wanted to repel that statement, I kept in mind that I'm virtually in tha middle of nowhere and I'm too far from my destination to be risking my livelihood and safety out here on tha road. So, I tipped my hat to him and drove off. I began to get very suspicious, thinking that might have just been a random dude hustling money without tha clerk knowing it. But nope, tha next station I hit in Eugene had tha same program. 

When I hit that next gas station, tha dude walked right up to my car and was just like dude, pop tha cover. At this point, I'm starting to get frustrated with this whole pumping my gas thing so I go in, buy my gas and something to drink, and allow him to pump my frickin' gas. After that, I refused to stop in any other city in Oregon. I just wanted to get out of there. So, I raced to tha California border. But, Grants Pass kicked my ass. By time I got to Weed, CA, tha snow chains had to come out. But, we'll save that story for next time. 

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