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My Daddy And 75 Cents

In keeping with the ‘Stories About My Daddy Theme’, I bring to you a classic tale. These events are 100% true and originally occurred on Monday October 2nd, 2006. Some of you may be familiar with this post as I have referred to it once or twice.

I talk about my family a lot. Mostly because I love them and also because they are all sofa king crazy, you can’t help but laugh. My father, whom I adore, is extremely smart. And he is a well intentioned, passionate, handsome, life saving, family providing, over reacting, hyper active, attention deficient having, genius.

The following is a story about my father. 75 cents. A gas station. And an air pump.


The phone in my office rings, when I answer to find an irate individual shouting on the other end. I know the voice belongs to my father – but I can’t understand what he’s saying because he’s screaming.

Earlier that morning, my father had gone to the gas station to fill his slow leaking tire with air. He pulled in and parked right in front of the air pump. He took the stopper off the tire, he put 75cents into the machine, and then he tried pumping the tire full of air. Except that no air came out. My father checked the machine, and checked it again, but nothing was working. It was clear the machine was broken.

Just like anyone else in the world would do, my father went over to the attendant and explained the situation. “Hey, excuse me, but I just put 75cents into your air pump, and nothing happened.”

The gas attendant, who barley spoke any English, told my father to wait a few seconds and he would be right with him. So, my father waited. And waited. And waited. And waited – for what seemed like a lifetime. Ten minuets later, also known as just enough time to push the ‘patience envelope’ with my father, things started to get heated.

After serving every other customer, the gas attendant finally followed my semi-upset, borderline-angry father over to the machine. The gas attendant looked at the pump before putting his own 75cents into the machine and tried again. Still nothing.

“It broke” said the attendant.

“Yes, I know that” said my father. “What are you going to do about it?”

“Nothing” replied the attendant.

My father, now noticeably angry, yelled, “Well, you owe me 75 cents!!”

“No, machine broke”. The attendant argued.

“I know it’s broken, but it’s YOUR machine. There is no sign indicating it’s broken!! You owe me 75 cents!!!”

“No. Machine broke. No 75 cents for you. I gave 75 cents too.”

At this point my father’s blood pressure was rising, his jaw was clenched tightly, and he lost the ability to reason rationally.

“That doesn’t matter! I don’t care if you lost your 75 cents. You can, and you will, get your money back. But I want MY 75 cents, and, I want it now!!”

SIDE BAR: In the middle of his rant, my father noticed a couple. They had been there all along, only when they first arrived they had their Mercedes windows rolled down, and they were casually relaxing, dressed in weekend get away clothes. However after witnessing his full-blown-nuclear-outburst? They had rolled up their windows and locked their doors, and now they sat perfectly still – looking straight ahead with their hands folded in their laps.

“You a crazy. You a crazy man!” The attendant shook his head as he walked away.

“No, I’m not. You’re WRONG!”

My father stormed off and got back into his car. He peeled out of the parking lot with the half flat tire. And that’s precisely when he called me to tell me what had happened. The man was livid beyond help. I know that tone of voice all too well. And I also know when he is at that point, there is nothing you can say or do, but shut up and listen to him.

Here are the series of revenge ideas my father contemplated:

“You know what I am going to do? I am going to call the cops! I was robbed. I am calling the cops and saying I’m telling them I was just robbed. They robbed me of my 75cents, this is fucking bullshit!!!”


5 seconds later my phone rings again.

“No, you know what I am going to do, I am going to make a huge poster. I am going to make a really big sign that says THIS GAS STATION RIPS PEOPLE OFF, and I am gong to stand in front of that gas station with a bull horn!”


Another 5 seconds later phone rings again.

“No, I am going to take a crow bar, and smash the f**king thing. I’ll just break it open and take MY 75CENTS!!”


My father was so enraged, he couldn’t let this go. In fact, he circled back towards the gas station to confront the attendant again. Fortunately, he stopped in his tracks, after he convinced himself that MAYBE, he was over reacting – a little.

By the time my father arrived at our office, I had informed the other employees what has occurred and how they would be wise to avoid one Mr. Colonna at all costs.

After hearing the story, most people in our office said the same thing, “Jeez; I’ll give him the 75 cents.”

But it was not about the 75 cents anymore.

It was the point.

For the entire work day my father argued with anyone that would indulge him. “Would you let someone get away with it if it was 2 dollars?” My father continued to defend his position, carrying on about how if he was in Grocery Store and put 75cents in a soda machine but didn’t get the soda, the manager would refund his money, so therefore, the same rules, MUST apply in this gas station!


My dad spent the next 24 hours of his life trying to derive ‘The Perfect Plan’. He stewed, and stewed, and stewed, and he plotted his sweet revenge.

The very next day, my father went back to the very same gas station.

This time he pulled up to the gas pump. Not the air machine.

He didn’t get the same attendant, but that didn’t matter to him.

Instead of yelling, or causing yet another scene? He calmly asked for 5 dollars of gas.

When the attendant came to collect money?

My father handed him $4.25.

And a note.


And then he drove off.


That’s My Daddy.

Oh, and if you ever need air in your tires, do NOT go to this gas station:

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  • this one was just as funny second time around!!!! i would have loved to have seen this !!!!

  • Your Dad is a true character. He had the perfect revenge ideas too. I agree with him, it IS the point, not the money. Glad he got them back in the end. Good on him!

  • That’s right: it’s not the 75 cents but the *principle*. Seventy five cents worth of gas was indeed something else back then 🙂

  • Go get ’em Dad! LOL Thats what I would have done! Its frightening the intelligence and gall these “station owners” have.

  • Hahaha I would be a little pissed but not that much.

    Remember to tell your dad that all he has to do is go inside and ask them to hit the remote and the machine will come on for free.

  • Oh, I’m laughing my ass off. That was great. I want to meet your dad!

  • bwahahaha That is a great story!

    Tony Bennett would be proud!

  • Hahahhahaha. Your dad is a smart bug! That is awesome. Please highfive him for me?

  • I love your dad…

  • Meleah

    Thanks sweety!

    Yep. His revenge was ‘The Best’

    Its all about the principal

    Here here

    They weren’t about to give him back the 75 cents. Thats why he took matters into his own hands.



    Will do!

    Me too!

  • Lee

    It must be a “Dad Thing”! That so sounds like something I would come up with. The poor guy who was on duty must have scratched his head for an hour after wondering what just happened. Perfect!

  • Your dad SO had the right idea. Those are the kinds of things that send me to the moon!!! AND I would not have been able to let it go either. It was very much the principle of the situation that was so aggravating. Kudos to your dad for making ’em pay!!

  • I am crying! THAT WAS HILARIOUS!!! I LOVE him!

  • I love it!! My family has some of the same traits … I just wish we would come up with smarter solutions – like your dad 🙂

  • In the end, your Dad outsmarted the Air-head 😀

    My husband refuses to pay for free air and uses a air pump that is powered by his truck’s battery.

    Maybe, his solution can help your Dad?

  • Awesome.

  • Meleah

    Such a DAD thing

    Im so glad my dad got even in the end


    You are pretty crafty!

    My dad is genius! Ill let him know only use free air machines

    Angry Man:
    Yes He Is!

  • It is the principle of it, so I definitely think your dad did the right thing. It took balls…I’m impressed!

  • What a great idea! Your dad is so awesome.

  • HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! What a riot!! His way of getting them back was BRILLIANT!! I love your dad!

  • Oh this is brilliant! And he is so sweet! 🙂
    He is right, it isn’t about the 75 cents, it’s the principle behind.

    Next time call me, I will make sign and stand in front of the gas station! Ha!

  • Meleah

    My dad found the best revenge!

    Yes. Awesome is a great way to describe my father!!

    Chef Mom:
    I love my daddy too. See why I have to do a whole week of stories about the man!

    Its all about the principal, and then its about getting even, and of course making me laugh! I will call you to make a sign and help picket the gas station!

  • So funny!

  • Best blog I have seen, love the story, love the writing – cool Dad

  • Jay

    Oh, goodness! I would have LOVED to see the gas attendant’s face when he paid them 75 cents short and said it was in the air machine! Hahahahahaha!

    I wish I’d been there!

  • Meleah


    Grumpy Green Old Man:
    Gee. Whiz! Thanks!

    That makes two of us!

  • HA HA HA–Your Dad KICKS ASS!!!!

    The same thing happened to me too at a gas station, only I was trying to use the vacume machine (my son EMPTIED his ant farm in the back seat!!) And it was no .75 cents, it was a whole dollar! I argued and argued and they dismissed me like I was some nut job…So I went got a GIANT bag of sunflower seeds and only paid the difference–from the ‘take-a-penny-leave-a-penny’ tray!!! It was greatly satisfying…But I took my vengeance a wee bit further….I parked my car at service pump and ate my bag of seeds, throwing the shells out my window. I made bloody mess and my lips were horribly chapped, but I made my point.

  • LOVE IT!!! And him! And you too of course!!

  • that is fricking genius!!! oh i love that guy!

  • Meleah

    You have the gift of ‘good revenge’ in your bloodstream too!
    PS: The birthday post to your son was WONDERFUL.

    I love my father and YOU!!

    Thats My Daddy!

  • Absolutely genius!!

    I must remember this for the next time my husband goes looney over losing his change in one of those machines at the gas station. He suffers from such a major case of ‘over reactitus’ and so I am left with no other choice but to ignore him.

  • mjc

    Absolutely friggin brilliant Meleah.

  • Okay, so when you look at your stats, mine is the IP address that has been on your site for, ohhhh, about 12 hours. Left it open last night after I started dinner, and well, it’s the morning now. Sheesh! On your dad, and from a complete hot head, trust me, it’s not worth it. Seriously. I know exactly how he feels, and there’s no way it’s funny. But his solution to the issue is HILARIOUS. He didn’t really leave the guy a note, did he? OMG. What a crack up! And yes, I’ve seen people get that upset over 75 cents in the soda machine at school. The teachers would say, but there’s no sign, and they’d have the secretary keep a tally so when the guy came, they could get their money back. It was a REALLY big deal. What I can’t get over is that your dad has someone pump his gas. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a gas station where that’s possible. We all have to pump our own.

  • Meleah

    Yep. This is a classic story! Feel free to share this with your husband!

    Thats my father! He is the best for blog material. He is hilarious!

    He really did write that note on a piece of paper. And he really did only give the guy 4.25!
    Apparently it IS a big deal, and its never about 75 cents. It’s about the principal as my father made CRYSTAL clear to me this day!

    Oh in the state of NEW JERSEY it is ILLEGAL to pump your OWN gas. In fact, I have NO IDEA how to pump my own gas, so whenever I have driven to other states, I always have to choose the full service kind, because where I come from we aren’t allowed to pump gas, unless you are an employee of the station!

  • Kitsy

    OMG……that is hilarious!! I needed a good laugh.

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  • OH MY GOD! I love your father! I so understand his rage, too. He absolutely DID deserve his 75 cents, and that attendant would've done well to just cough it up. It's just good business. Well, it doesn't matter. Your dad got it back, and in a truly hilarious and creative way.

  • Ahahhaha1 Thanks JD!!
    This one of my ALL time FAVORITE father stories!

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely hysterical, heart-warming story.  You make me want to write about my Dad.

  • You should!

  • Boris

    I love your Dad, reminds me of mine. Great story!

  • Thanks, Boris!

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