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.
“YOUR OTHER 75 CENTS IS IN THE AIR MACHINE.”
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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