A car honks behind me. I look away from the gas pump and towards the noise. A middle-aged woman and her terrier are glaring at me through the window of a Mercedes coupe. She mouths “move” and presses down on the car horn again.
I have just started filling up my tank. I look at her quizzically. She honks again.
I jab my finger at the spigot plugged into my gas tank. She honks again. I wave her towards the pump in front of my car.
She begins to inch her car past mine and pulls beside the pump at a 45 degree angle. I notice that there is no gas tank hatch on the side of her car facing the pump.
The woman exits her car, still glaring, and slams the door shut – causing her little dog to jump. She turns to look at her car, at the portion of the body where she is expecting to see a gas tank hatch and finds nothing. She huffs in disgust.
Back into her car, she pulls around the other side of the pumps and makes the most awkward 3-point turn around I’ve ever seen. She backs up to the pump across from me, again with her gas tank hatch on the wrong side. Rinse, repeat, huff, re-enter car, slam door.
She peels out of the parking lot and fishtails down the street, screeching tires, then out of sight around the corner.
The pump I’m filling from clicks – full tank.
The fireworks started at noon, later and fewer than expected. They will build up and crescendo later in the evening.
We are on the edge of city limits, so I expect the mortars to come out – not the semi-military barrage one would see further into the country, but at least an aspirational send-up.
It has been a wet year, so the likelihood of the countryside burning is lower than usual. Not like last year when the entire state was on fire.
I ate an Arby’s roast beef sandwich for dinner, then I bought train tickets to go to a German, mountain castle.
“The file you provide isn’t the correct one. We need the file for Azure.”
“It’s the only one I saw, so it has to be the correct one.”
“OK, well. I’m pretty sure it’s not the correct file. Can you check?”
“I think it’s the right one.”
Repeat this conversation four times.
“Hey, I need to apologize. I’m an idiot. You were right, it’s the wrong file. You have my permission to be angry with me.”
“I wasn’t waiting on it.”
“I picked up my car last week after having the alternator repaired. Now my air conditioner isn’t working – the condenser never kicks on. It’s possible the mechanic who swapped the alternator did not re-attach the wiring for the A/C condenser.”
Long pause. “So you want to bring it back in?”
“Well, those two things could be un-related. Not saying they are, but it might not be something we did. When did you want to bring it in?”
“As soon as possible.”
“We’re booked up this week because of the holiday. I might could do something next week. What do you think about…”
“Let’s reset. It is 100 degrees, 110-20 on the asphalt. My A/C does not work. It did work prior to my car being in your shop. When can you get me in?”
Several minutes later. “Bring it by tomorrow.”
It seems warm. The air conditioner has been blowing for several minutes, but the air is not getting cooler.
Roll windows down. Open sunroof.
Ninety-seven degree, dry air.
Well played, mechanic – not re-connecting my air compressor when you replaced the alternator. Well played.
“Do you want a Cinnabon?”
“Will you eat one?”