So I went and quit my job and soon Texarkana will no longer be my home. Soon, I'll be living in Oregon, where hippies and lumberjacks live in peace and harmony... or something close to it.
I'd like to pretend I'm leaving Texarkana with some sort of wistful fondness for the place, but that would be a complete lie. I'm quite thrilled to be getting out and I'm having a hard time concealing it.
As I announce my departure, some people have been asking me, "So, what are you going to miss most about Texarkana?" It's a tough question, and one I usually answer with something like, "Good people like you." It's otherwise tough to answer not because I have a hard time sorting through all my good memories, but because I have no good memories to sort through at all.
But today I'm in Oregon, getting trained at my new job at a new TV station and fruitlessly trying to look for a place to live. So, after a few days away, perhaps I can ask myself the question, "So what do
I miss about Texarkana?"
I now have the answer: Self-serve gasoline.
The good folk in Oregon are an independent lot. They don't like to be told what to do or how to do it. Thus, the state is fighting hard to ensure it's citizens can kill themselves with a doctor's help. I've not met anyone here who is really all that interested in killing themselves, but people here just don't like the idea of the federal government telling
them they can't
But these fiercely independent people can't get out of their cars and pump their own gas. Instead, some big guy in a bigger coat comes out and pumps it for you.
I have all kinds of problems with this. And before you bring up the cheapskate thing, I've been told you don't have to tip the guy, so that's not it. Instead, I just feel guilty any time I pay somebody to do something I'm perfectly willing to do. It's not like a relish pumping gas, but it's not all that hard and I've just grown accustomed to doing it. It's part of the rhythm of life, like checking the mail or flushing the toilet. I wouldn't pay anybody to do that, either.
But now I'm in Oregon, and I have to start paying people to pump my gas. All of the sudden, I'm Nelson Rockafeller in a Toyota. But what will happen to me once I start living like a full-service big shot? Will I start hiring people to put toothpaste on my toothbrush before I wake up in the morning? Will I find myself constantly uttering things like, "For heaven's sake, don't rake that lawn, there are people
for that." Will I begin referring to gas station attendants as, "the help."
I've only been here two days, so it may be a bit early to tell. But I don't have any more time to write about it now. The people carrying my sedan chair tell me we're almost out of the range of my wireless modem.