I stopped for breakfast in Susanville, CA yesterday, after a two hour drive from Reno, and had a sufficient bowl of oatmeal and strawberries in a small hotel restaurant where we once saw Diane Lane and Josh Brolin. (Diane ordered oatmeal that day, as I recall.) I was disappointed to sit all alone in the over-cooled corner with my tea and porridge, no celebrities in sight. I had been all set for a lively chat with Diane and Josh, but I guess that was kind of a long shot, now that I think about it.
After fueling myself, I pulled my Kia rental car into the Chevron station at the north end of town, and whipped out my credit card. The card worked, but the pump didn't, so I tried again, and then went inside for assistance. I tried paying outside, paying inside, pulling around to a different pump, and running back and forth to the consult with the Gas Guy at the register at least 7 times. Nothing worked. I was standing there with my hand on my hip and my face in a bunch, ready to give up and try another station, when Gas Guy came out through the grimy glass door, and in a moment very much like the one in "Nation Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", where Ellen finally figures out that the secret to getting a gazillion tiny Italian twinkle lights to work is to simply flip the light switch, he flipped up the handle on the pump...
Angels sang, gas flowed, and all I could say was oh-for-gawdsakes, in exactly the same tone my Granny used to use when something just floored her. To Gas Guy's credit, he was a total gentleman, and did not laugh at me or try to make me feel any more stupid than I already felt. I assured him that I had indeed pumped my own gas on many occasions, but that living in Oregon, where it's illegal, mind you, to pump your own gas, had maybe spoiled me just a little bit.
Back in the Kia, I headed for Oregon as fast as I could. Back to where I can let the nice Gas Guys pump the gas for me, so I can concern myself with more important things. I don't know what those things are really, but it's nice to free up some time and brain power in case I should come up with something.