Do you remember pulling up to the gas pump and carefully filling your tank by rounding to the nearest dollar? Some of you may recall the days before auto-shut-offs when you would overfill your tank and have gas spill all over the side of your vehicle and the pavement. And a select few of you may even recollect driving off from the station with the nozzle still in your tank and the hose dragging down the road.

Some of the more age-experienced readers of this column may even reminisce about the days of the full-service gas station when a friendly attendant would not only fill your tank but check your oil and wash your windshield. “Fill ’er up!”

Believe it or not, there was a time when buying gasoline was straightforward. Then along came a gazillion choices. It started in the 1970s with unleaded, and that was simple enough. Now we have a variety of octane choices along with three different ethanol blends. I didn’t know I needed a master’s degree in petroleum engineering to fill my car with gas. 

Unfortunately, choosing your gas is just part of the process. Although I appreciate the whole pay-at-the-pump idea — as it prevents me from indulging in a fountain drink and a candy bar — I cringe at all the information I am often asked to submit at the pump and the seemingly endless questions I have to answer. Debit? Credit? Zip code? Fuel saver card? Car wash? And then, at some stations, I can’t concentrate because of the blaring music and the barrage of ads popping up on the display screen. I just want some gas, for Pete’s sake!

But, alas, I eventually surrender my name, rank and serial number and begin fueling. And as I put the nozzle back in the pump and submit to accepting the entire pay-at-the-pump process, a message comes across the screen that I need to go inside the store to collect my receipt. Ugh. So I do — and I buy a fountain drink and a candy bar. 

Have a fantastic Friday, and, as always, thank you for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
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