Human Behavior

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I think those of us who are moochers and looters, and therefore have to pump our own gas, are acquainted with this development. Apparently Uncle Sugar has decided to deprive us of the right, bestowed upon us by our Creator via the Christian founders, to accidentally spill gasoline all over a gas station. Instead, we must leave the protective cocoon of our cars, prayerfully and watchfully clutching our open carry, to squeeze the gas pump while fending off the marauding hordes of uneducated youth listening to their rap music, all while our sugahs are dangerously lowered because we could be inside purchasing a 128 oz Big Gulp and a family pack of Ho Hos.

IMG_20140504_124244 This is obviously too much for many of us, so we, reasonably, use our God-given brain and opposable thumbs to engineer a solution using our gas cap. But the oppressive bootheel of government oppression, failing to recognize our right under natural law to use our private property as deem necessary and proper, crushes our very souls with another unnecessary law, as shown here. Fortunately for all of us, save perhaps firemen, gas station owners and innocent onlookers, I’ve personally witnessed a grassroots revolt, in the form of a woman who was sitting in her car talking on her (unregulated, as Jesus preached) cell phone while her car filled, who then drove off, still talking on her phone, almost getting t-boned in a busy four-lane road.

Murika!

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71 replies
  1. 1
    some guy says:

    Anne Barnard and Cacti has a sadz. Al Qaeda retreated from Homs.

  2. 2
    D says:

    My inlaws carry a tennis ball around and use that to hold the handle open. That way you can get your big gulp and cheetos without violating the letter of the law.

  3. 3
    D says:

    My inlaws carry a tennis ball around and use that to hold the handle open. That way you can get your big gulp and cheetos without violating the letter of the law.

  4. 4
    WereBear says:

    It’s weird that people love to say they “have no time” and when they leverage some out of such risky behavior they use it to tell their BFF about which hot curlers work the best.

  5. 5
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Not that long ago I was filling up my car. There were four young women in a car at the pump adjacent to me. They were talking and laughing while their tank filled. When the cutoff thumped the driver fired up drove off. Yanked the hose right off of the pump and they pulled out onto the street trailing the hose. Fortunately for us, the station’s cutoff stopped the gas. Unfortunately for them, the young women didn’t return while I was there.

  6. 6
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Those of us with Gen II Prius’s have to be careful as our cars have a fvcking bladder inside the tank that can rupture if you overfill it.

  7. 7
    Chuckles says:

    Honestly, I read this post twice and the sarcasm and in-jokes were too thick to understand what’s actually going on here. What is the actual law we’re talking about? It reads like something at the state level to me.

  8. 8
    Kristine says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Were they from Oregon? Not trying to excuse the dumb, but in Oregon it is illegal to pump your own gas. Every time I visit out there, I have to remind myself to Stay In The Car.

  9. 9

    Great, now these types of activities will be illegal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Huc47Dqsg8

  10. 10
    CaffinatedOne says:

    I’m actually the sort who find it irritating when gas stations remove the auto-lock from the nozzles, and I’m not sure what’s, um, driving legislation to require this sort of thing. Maybe I’ve been lucky or something, but I’ve been pumping gas for quite some time and have never run into a situation where an auto-lock (or a gas cap wedged in the handle) resulted in “spill(ing) gasoline all over a gas station”.

  11. 11
    Randy P says:

    @Chuckles: It took me a while to decipher but apparently in some places they’ve taken off the little ratchets that hold the pump open so now you have to squeeze the trigger manually to keep the flow going. And I gather it’s by federal mandate.

    Thing is, I haven’t noticed that. I believe there are still plenty of places in PA, DE and MD, my usual haunts, where the trigger can be locked open. In theory. They just don’t work that well.

  12. 12
    Jerzy Russian says:

    I have been to a few places in Utah where some asshole left the little lock thing engaged when the nozzle was in its holder on the pump. I spilled gasoline all over Utah because I selected the type of gas before the nozzle was in the car.

  13. 13
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Chuckles: I think it’s some state regulation (or claim of existence of same) prohibiting you from jamming the gas cap into the pump handle so you can leave the pump running without standing there holding the trigger.

    In ye olden days, pump handles had latches built into them so you could just leave them running, but this turned out to be dangerous for a variety of reasons, so they got removed. I think one reason is that, if you’re walking around free of the car on a dry day, when you touch the handle again it can create an electric spark that can ignite gasoline vapor. Making you keep holding onto the handle prevents that.

  14. 14
    beth says:

    @CaffinatedOne: I once had a gas pump not shut off when the tank was full. I was unfortunately wool gathering at the time and didn’t notice the stream of gas overflowing the tank and running down my leg until my sneaker was spongy with gas. Why did I ever leave New Jersey (it’s illegal to pump your own gas there too).

  15. 15
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Kristine:

    They were local. I live in Southern California and I can’t even remember the last time I saw a station where an attendant pumped the gas for you.

  16. 16

    I’ve never used a gas pump with an auto-lock. I’ve never heard of or seen until now anyone jury rigging a lock so they can not pay attention to pumping their own gas. That sounds like typical human stupidity to me.

  17. 17
    Chyron HR says:

    @some guy:

    Shouldn’t you be railing against Obummer’s imperial invasion of Nigeria? No blood for kidnapped schoolgirls!

  18. 18
    jeffreyw says:

    Last time I bought gas (actually diesel) the lock things were still in place.

  19. 19
    Nick says:

    Born and raised in California where the auto-locks are legal and ubiquitous. In my 15 years driving, I have never had gas spill as a result of the auto-lock. I would stand there at the pump, because it was California and the weather didn’t cause me to want to stay in the car.

    I’ve recently moved to upstate NY. The autolocks are illegal here. Every time I filled up this winter, I cursed the stupid lawmaker who passed the law banning the autolocks. Yes, I am pissed off. While in California, I never saw a spill caused by a malfunctioning pressure sensor, and I never saw someone cause a spill by driving off with the hose attached. I did see people drive off with the hose attached, but the pumps are smart and capable of shutting down gas flow immediately.

    This is a state by state thing, and I’m starting to realize there is a difference between west coast liberal and east coast liberal, and I’m starting to understand the whole nanny state complaint that right wingers make. Not that California is a great bastion of liberalism.

  20. 20
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I sometimes wish I could lock the pump handle on really cold days, so I could put my hand back in my pocket, but that is a small, small inconvenience when weighed against a fiery death.

  21. 21
    Chuckles says:

    @Randy P: Yeah, after the 4th re-reading and some creative interpretation of that sign, I finally figured out what’s going on. Definitely doesn’t apply to any gas station I’ve been to, which is about 4 in the last month, in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Where I come from, the nozzle is the tubular part that extends into the car, and I’ve never seen a gas cap that could fit inside of it. We’d call that part the “handle”, though we’re crazy and we also either say “soda” or “pop”, depending who you ask.

  22. 22
    Randy P says:

    Thing is, I tend to drive cars with 10 gallon tanks and fill up online once every week or two. I have noticed that the flow rate seems to be really slow on a lot of pumps, especially the ones I have to hold open (which is not all of them). That can be a pain even for 10 gallons. If you’re driving a Hummer or a Suburban Assault Vehicle around and putting in $100 every couple of days, I can see where you’d want a chance to rest your hand and so complain this was the nanny state going too far.

  23. 23
    Randy P says:

    @Randy P: Fill up ONLY… filling up ONLINE would be hard to do. I think my phone did that. Autocorrect on my phone is weirder than any autocorrect you’ve ever seen.

  24. 24
    beth says:

    @Randy P: I’m surprised old people through the AARP or people with arthritis in their hands through the Americans with Disabilities Act haven’t made a stink about this. I’m just old and my hand cramps while I pump gas.

  25. 25
    WereBear says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Yeah, we get down to 40 below. But that’s what mittens and gloves are for.

    My best ones are full of Thinsulate and don’t let me do much of anything with them on. One of these days I’ll get the combo mitten-gloves, or create some.

  26. 26
    kc says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Ahh, thank you for the explanation. A lot of the pumps here (SC) have the locks and I use them when I fill the tank. Didn’t know they could be dangerous.

  27. 27
    Tokyokie says:

    The pumps with the latches on them usually have some sort of device that kicks them off in reaction to moisture or vapor pressure when the tank is nearly full. Sticking the gas cap in the handle overrides this measure. Although most gas caps these days have an umbilical that attaches them to the car, so I’m not sure how one jams one of those into the pump handle.

  28. 28
    cmorenc says:

    @CaffinatedOne:

    I’m actually the sort who find it irritating when gas stations remove the auto-lock from the nozzles, and I’m not sure what’s, um, driving legislation to require this sort of thing. Maybe I’ve been lucky or something, but I’ve been pumping gas for quite some time and have never run into a situation where an auto-lock (or a gas cap wedged in the handle) resulted in “spill(ing) gasoline all over a gas station”.

    I have, and though it doesn’t happen often, it’s not pretty when it does.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    Why would one place a gas cap into the nozzle? Wouldn’t that make getting the gas difficult to get into one’s tank? Here in CA it isn’t illegal to place a gas cap into the handle of the pump, thus allowing me to wash the windows while I fill up.

    Thank God I live in a Liberal paradise.

    @Frankensteinbeck: Even if the lock is missing the pumps have an auto shutoff nowdays. Careful who you are calling stupid.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    This must be some kind of local or state regulation, because all of the gas stations around our place in So Cal still have the locks. (Though I do occasionally run into one that’s broken.)

  31. 31
    cmorenc says:

    If they could only stop the occasional idiot who smokes a cigarette while filling up their car. Ever been to a gas station, and in the middle of filling up your car you catch a whiff of cigarette fume and realize the idiot at the next island is smoking as he fills up his tank? Eeeech!

  32. 32
    Brian R. says:

    @Chuckles:

    Yeah, I read it three times and it makes no sense to me either.

  33. 33
    FridayNext says:

    @beth:

    They have. Unless a gas station operates solely by remote-control and there is only one attendant, gas stations are required to provide pumping service to cars displaying legitimate disabled designation. If they have two different types (Full and Self serve) they have to provide full service for self-serve price. They are also “encouraged” to provide signage to tell disabled motorists how to get an attendant’s attention.

    Legally of course, whether any individual station does this and/or a disabled driver makes an official stink is another matter. Like most other aspects of disabled life, you just learn which businesses will accommodate you and give THEM your money.

    Also, as an aside, I worked at a gas station way back in ye olden times when gas stations had both full and self-serve. We even came out to your self-serve pump to collect your cash and manually reset the self-serve pump. (and we provided full serve to cars with disabled tags or mirror hang-cards) The mark-up on full serve gas was HUGE. My boss was a complete dick about it, and took off those pump locks because he wanted to make self-serve as inconvenient and miserable as possible.

  34. 34
    FridayNext says:

    @cmorenc:
    When I worked at a gas station (see above) we would stand next to people like that and make explosion noises. (You’d be surprised how many smokers don’t make the connection between our little piece of performance art and their idiocy) I am pretty sure we weren’t the best employees in town, but we had a lot of fun.

  35. 35
    Lee says:

    It must be a state/local regulation.

    Here in Freedum loving Texas, we still can run in to buy more ammo while filling our tanks with Freedum Fluid.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I live in Southern California and I can’t even remember the last time I saw a station where an attendant pumped the gas for you.

    There are still stations that offer full serve here in Southern California, or maybe they’re back after having disappeared for a while. I’ve seen one in Arcadia, and I vaguely remember them in other places. I think they cater to rich foreigners who aren’t used to pumping their own gas.

  37. 37
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @CaffinatedOne: I’ve only encountered a gas pump with a broken automatic shutoff once (it was somewhere in Pennsylvania and the attendant seemed singularly unconcerned when I warned him about it), but it does happen.

    I think the concern is more about static sparks igniting the fumes, as I said above. I dimly recall there was a rash of impressive gas-station-fireball incidents that led to the pump-handle latches disappearing in Massachusetts. It may be that they’ve persisted in places where it doesn’t get really cold and dry in the winter.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Randy P:
    I am more interested in washing my windshield while the gas pumps than in saving myself from hand cramps, but there are plenty of non-lazy reasons for wanting to have the handle lock. That said, I think the risk of spills must be vastly overblown. I live in Southern California, the place that is so worried about hydrocarbons getting in the air that we invented the vapor recovery devices on gas pumps, and there’s no regulation banning handle lock devices around here. The only place I’ve seen that doesn’t have them is ARCO, who apparently have some kind of corporate policy against them.

  39. 39
    Seanly says:

    I stay by the handle while filling the tank. It annoys me when the lock is missing, but I wait to get my 128 oz bladder burster until after the car is filled up regardless. I’m even enough of a saint that I move the car on busy days (angels sounding trumpets from on high). I will wash my windows while the gas pumps…

    Speaking of OR & required filling up – I’ve had to fly into PDX and drive to Corvallis a couple of times. Learned the lesson to just pay the extra (company) money to not bring the rental car back full to the airport. There’s ONE gas station near the airport & it requires several turns & highway exits to get to it and then navigate to PDX. (Before anyone jumps down my throat – if I’m just staying in Portland, I don’t bother with a car)

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    ARCO doesn’t take credit cards (cash and debit only). Not sure if that has anything to do with it, since their pumps will stop at a specific amount paid rather than going until full.

  41. 41
    dubo says:

    @Nick: You get angry because a regulation to prevent a low probability but high consequence disaster occasionally mildly inconveniences you? Yep, I think you understand conservative complaints rather well.

  42. 42
    Nick says:

    @dubo: Hmm, I misspoke. I get irritated at stupid laws that are passed that don’t solve the problem they are supposedly aimed at in the name of doing something. I get angry that being irritated at a stupid law is the equivalent of having a “Murika!” opinion.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t. There are definitely better things to be angry about. But, low probability outcomes with high consequences is not the rational for these laws, or filling up gas containers would be outlawed, as that is moderate probability outcome with high consequences vs nano scale low probability with moderate consequences, nor would we allow large propane tanks to sit on the same property as gas stations.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chyron HR: The schoolgirls are blah. Of course no blood for them. Now, if they were cute little blondes, then we might get worked up about it.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Nick: It is my sincere hope that FSM disposes of you very soon before your stupidity causes harm to others.

  45. 45
    Wrye says:

    I worked in BC at various Chevrons through most of the 90’s, and yes, jamming it open is a fire hazard, and no, we wouldn’t let them do it, and yes, a small but persistent percentage of people are idiots who will blow themselves up/flood your station with gasoline if given a chance. The risk of a spill is bigger than that of a fire, but regardless, it’s a real risk.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    Another CA-er here, and most stations still have the locks. But I cannot understand people who use the lock as an excuse to wander off and not monitor the filling operation (to put a fancy name on it). Me, I figure, since I am pumping what is essentially a liquid explosive, it is best to keep an eye on the process.

    Edit: And since it the only time I handle explosives, why not make a little officious ceremony out of it?

    Maybe they should add stuff like how to fill an automobile gas tank with the liquid explosive to the driver’s license written law test? Or make filling the damn car part of the practical exam too?

  47. 47
    FeudalismNow! says:

    Just down the Thruway from Mix and noticed the new signs just this week. I have seen all sorts of idiocy with gas cap in the handle shenanigans, particularly from snowmobilers and landscape companies filling cans all over the ground while grabbing a smoke. Just because you are not yourself an idiot at the gas station, does not mean that there are not a slew of idiots out there.

  48. 48
    dlw32 says:

    Must be local if it’s a law at all. In PA, there are some gas stations that have the locky-thing removed and others that don’t. It may be just station owner preference.

    Tangentially, in New Jersey, you can’t pump your own gas… at least not at any gas station I’ve stopped at. There’s an attendant to pump it for you…

  49. 49
    stickler says:

    This post is virtually indecipherable — even the first photo. What the hell is that? Why is it there? Why does the sign in the second photo talk about putting a gas cap in the fuel nozzle? That’s not physically possible. Into the handle, yes, but the nozzle?

    And where in the entire USA is there a fuel pump that doesn’t have an automatic shutoff function? Those have been universal since about 1972. Sure, sometimes the shutoff fails, but it’s pretty damned rare.

    I’m not getting my money’s worth here.

  50. 50
    maya says:

    @Wrye: Many years ago, when taking my new TyOtah Celica cross country and making notations on it’s MPG at every fill up, I wandered up into Canada for a spell. I then noticed that the MPG had an unbelievable and spectacular increase. Was it the thinner air? The call of the moose? What?
    It was only then that I learned of the Canadian genius and humor behind the Imperial gallon. They just love fookin with Merkin’s minds, don’t they?

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @stickler:

    I think mistermix saw a local development and assumed it was nationwide in some way. Hence the confusing post — he assumed we would all know what it was about because it all happened to us, too, right?

  52. 52
    Brian R. says:

    @dlw32:

    State law in NJ. No self-service at any gas station.

  53. 53
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Yeah, this took me a while to figure out as well. In NC, they still have the locking things but I rarely get more than 3-4 gallons a time, so it’s no big deal for me. In the motherland, I’m pretty sure that such things don’t exist at all.

  54. 54
    Rich2506 says:

    Yeah, some women have problems with technology. After a big snowstorm, late in the evening, so it was really cold out, I saw a young woman get into her car and try to start it up and then immediately leave, not really grasping the idea that the engine might need to warm up first.
    About a year ago, a woman tried to use one of those self-service check-outs. She had far too much in the way of groceries (They’re made for one or two bags and she had six), she REFUSED to follow the instructions that the machine was trying to give her, kept trying to do things out of order like remove her bags before paying, etc. The other guy and I in line just rolled our eyes and waited for her to finish, knowing full well she was going to write a letter of complaint to the store for having such awful machines.

  55. 55
    🌷 Martin says:

    Between 1% and 2% of gas pumped is lost to vapor per year without vapor recovery systems. That includes not capping your tank after the pump shuts off (eg. wandering away for cheetos). It’s both a safety issue (gas station fires are much less common) and an environmental issue. Effectively we’re raising fuel mileage standards for everyone by 1%-2% without requiring they buy a new car, incurring a bit of a fixed cost for the station and a bit of inconvenience for the driver.

    My understanding is that the lock is okay at stations that have vapor recovery (almost all of CA) but not okay at stations that don’t. So, alternatively, you could jump on the bandwagon to require Phase I vapor recovery on all gas pumps in the country and then everyone gets to keep their locks.

  56. 56
    Quicksand says:

    @Rich2506:

    “Warm up” a car engine? LOL. Yup, that sounds like something only an ign’ant male would do.

    YEAH, IMMA WASTE SOME FUEL AND MAKE PEOPLE WAIT FOR ME!

  57. 57
    JustRuss says:

    @Seanly:

    There’s ONE gas station near the airport

    Corvallis resident here, I’ve never noticed the lack of gas stations near the airport, but you’re right. Would make car rental a real PIA.

  58. 58
    Donalbain says:

    Ok. This is utterly baffling. For the sake of a right pondian could someone explain the usual process of filling up your petrol tank in the USA? Here in the UK the process is as follows. 1 pull up at pump 2 get out of car 3 pump petrol into car using the hose thing 4 when enough petrol is in car either you stop pumping or the pump cuts off when you are full 5 you go inside and pay the nice person working for your petrol. During 5 it is traditional to buy overly expensive sweets

  59. 59
    Donalbain says:

    Ok. This is utterly baffling. For the sake of a right pondian could someone explain the usual process of filling up your petrol tank in the USA? Here in the UK the process is as follows. 1 pull up at pump 2 get out of car 3 pump petrol into car using the hose thing 4 when enough petrol is in car either you stop pumping or the pump cuts off when you are full 5 you go inside and pay the nice person working for your petrol. During 5 it is traditional to buy overly expensive sweets

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Donalbain: Um…that’s how it USUALLY works on this side of the pond, too. But we have all these stupid people that you all on your side of the pond wisely told to get lost three to four centuries ago, so there’s that.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brian R.: They’ve tried repealing the same law in Oregon several times, but the voters here like having their gas pumped for them, thank you very much.

  62. 62
    Older says:

    Some of us who live in Oregon have noticed that when we go to a state that makes us pump our own gas, that state also charges us extra for the privilege. So, yes, we do like to be able to stay in our cars and have someone pump our gas for us, and we also like to be able to pay less for it.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rich2506:
    Actually, the recommendation these days is not to idle the car for long before driving, even when it’s cold. Multi-weight oils are really good at getting going even when it’s cold, and the engine warms up much faster under driving load than it does at idle. The car barely warms up while it’s idling, so the main thing you accomplish by letting it idle is to waste gas and overwork the catalytic converter.

  64. 64
    stickler says:

    @Older: Bull … shit. Gas price and self-serve are not connected; it’s more likely that the state you went to has a higher gas tax. And in any case, as an Oregon resident, I am fed up to my nostrils with the rampant absurdity of the self-serve ban.

    If you’re too God-damned lazy to pump your own gas, you have no business driving. Every God-damned time I have to sit at the pump, waiting for the one overworked attendant to mosey over to my car, take my card, misunderstand my “fill it with regular” order, bang the nozzle against my quarter panel, take the nozzle out when the auto shutoff trips (whether the tank is full or not), and maybe hand me my fncking reciept if he remembers, an angel has it fncking wings ripped out at the roots.

    And I have to sit there, wasting time and suffering the indignity of a thousand little nozzle-dings, because lazy-ass Oregon voters keep voting to preserve a ban on pumping my own gasoline. Fnck them all.

  65. 65
    Roger Moore says:

    @Donalbain:
    Americans are apparently less trusting, so our procedure usually involves arranging payment (either with a card at the pump or with cash or card inside) before one is allowed to pump. If one has paid by card it is only necessary to put the hose thing away and drive off when complete; if you have paid in cash it may be necessary to go inside a second time to get change.

    We are also impatient, so many Americans want to do something else while the gas is pumping. Station owners want to help, knowing that their customers will otherwise tie up valuable space at the pump doing other chores when they’re done filling. To make this easier, many pumps have a handle lock that will keep the pump going even if there is nobody holding the handle down, and an automatic shutoff that’s supposed to prevent overflow. That lets the driver perform automotive maintenance or go inside to buy junk food while the tank is filling. Some places have apparently banned the handle locks, so customers are resorting to expedients like shoving their gas cap into the handle to keep the pump operating.

  66. 66
    Stuart_B says:

    By the way, both the latch and the automatic shutoff date back to the days before self service ruled. They let one attendant fill several cars at once. (I remember from a brief unsuccessful career as one.)

    I haven’t ever seen the latch cause an overflow unless reengaged–several times–after the automatic shutoff. Not quite so with manually holding the handle, but people generally let go soon as gas starts spitting out. Unfortunately, putting a foreign object into the handle is probably more like holding it with your hand than like setting the latch, so a recipe for larger spillages.

    Removing the latch seems kind of wrong-headed to me, but assuming a state or company goes that way outlawing blocking the handle seems a good idea.

  67. 67
    NonyNony says:

    @Donalbain:

    Let’s see – maybe I can help out:

    Here in the UK the process is as follows. 1 pull up at pump

    This part is the same.

    2 get out of car

    Also the same.

    3 pump petrol into car using the hose thing

    Over here we call it gasoline or just “gas” (leading to some “hilarious” jokes along our interstates where you can still find signs that read “EAT HERE GET GAS” meant with complete sincerity). So that’s one difference.

    Also we have an inordinate number of people who jam things into the handle so they don’t have to hold it themselves. Sometimes this is so that they can do things car-related like clean their windshields (windscreens) or check the air in their tires but USUALLY they do this so that they can jabber on their cell phones (mobiles) while sitting in their cars and not paying attention to the gas coming out of the hose. The hoses are supposed to have automatic shutoff valves in them to prevent spillage, but, you know, they don’t always work. So having a human being standing near by when one fails is kind of a useful thing.

    4 when enough petrol is in car either you stop pumping or the pump cuts off when you are full

    See above – usually the same but with the caveats above.

    5 you go inside and pay the nice person working for your petrol.

    It’s more typical around here to “pay at the pump” with a credit card these days and never see the inside of the station. Unless you want to buy something other than gas (see below).

    During 5 it is traditional to buy overly expensive sweets

    Since this is the US, our gas stations sell terrible hot dogs and mediocre pizza in addition to the typical overpriced candy items. (Never eat a gas station hot dog. Just don’t do it. The fact that I even have to utter the words “never eat a gas station hot dog” convinces me that the apocalypse is on its way.)

    There’s also terrible coffee. Usually just mediocre but occasionally gloriously awful stuff. The kind of stuff that tastes like it was first brewed in 1975 and has just been periodically reheated ever since. This can be very important when you’re on cross-country trips and feel the need for a caffeine stop.

  68. 68
    Chris T. says:

    For anyone else who is (1) still reading this and (2) confused by the photos (as I was):

    The first photo is of the handle attached to the nozzle. Specifically, it’s the part of the handle that contains the metal lever-y part that would normally lodge up against the plastic part at the bottom of the handle, that holds the pump “open” while your car gets filled. The plastic part at the bottom has, however, been removed, so that there is nothing for the metal lever to engage with.

    The second photo is of a sign written by someone who confused the nozzle with the handle.

    (1)       (2)     (3)
    ,——-[===]===
               —–

    (1) nozzle: inserts into fuel tank receptacle on car

    (2) handle: part you hold on to and squeeze to allow petrol to flow

    (3) hose: connects nozzle-and-handle assembly to pump

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @NonyNony:
    That isn’t coffee. It’s dark, it’s thick, it smells nothing like you expect and tastes like, well, ass. The station owner, or maybe his brother, has a fast lube shop not far away and what you are seeing is used oil.

  70. 70
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    I have had the locky-thingy pop off and gas all over, but only for a little while, so no prob, right? Also before auto-shutoff in 1970 I saw a car drove away with the hose still in the tank, and rip the hose off the pump, gas flew 20 feet before hitting the ground and on to the gutter, where nothing untoward could possibly happen. Just by circumstances I had to elsewhere soon. .. Back when they had actual pop-tops (those were the days or what) they worked well to hold the thingy open.

    NonyNony: It’s called 7-11 cuz they make the coffee on July 11

  71. 71
    steverinoCT says:

    My NJ-native niece visited me in CT, pulled into a gas station, and sat there for quite some time before she realized no one was going to come out and pump her gas.

    I find that some stations here do not have the latches, but most do. Even so, I stand there, because it just doesn’t take that long, and it’s not worth getting back in the car even when it’s cold out. As noted above, that’s what gloves are for.

    When I go to NJ to visit my niece in turn (about 150 mi each way) I make sure to run my tank down; the gas there, even with full-serve mandatory, is a good $0.30/gal cheaper. I’m not going to drive around town looking for a 3-cent savings on gas, but hey, $3.00 will buy me a large coffee with change.

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