Saturday, November 03, 2007


I've already written on two separate occasions about Oregon's absurd outlawing of self service gas. Despite the fact that were are several years into the 21st century, Oregon's gas stations are stuck somewhere back in the 1950s. You have to pull up to the pump, and wait for some guy to pump your gas for you. It's kind of a hassle.

Over the past two years, only once have I openly flouted state law by pumping gas myself. But today, things got out of hand.

I'm in a hurry to get somewhere, but I'm almost out of gas. I pull into the closest station and wait at a pump. There are 7 other pumps at the station, and cars are pulled up next to all of them. Nobody comes up to my car, so I get out to see what's going on. Every single driver is waiting for a single attendant, who is in his little booth on the phone or something.

I look both ways, grab a nozzle, and start pumping. I thrust my fist in the air and shout, "Power to the people!"

An older woman gets out of her car and says, "Can you just do that?"

"Why not? I went to college, I think I'm perfectly capable of filling a gas tank."

"Yeah, me too. I grew up in California, I know how to pump gas."

"Take the power back, my sister!"

She swipes her credit card, grabs a nozzle and gets to work.

A third person gets out of her car.

"Really, can you just do that?"

I point to the gas station attendant.

"If he cares, let him come out of his shack and stop us."

"This is ridiculous, I'm going to start pumping my own." And she does.

"That's right, millions and millions of people in 48 other states* will pump their own gas today with no repercussions whatsoever. Don't let this lame station attendant keep you down."

Just then, my handle clicks. I'm full. I grab my receipt from the pump and get back into my car.

"Fight the power!"

I drive off. In the rear view mirror, I see the attendant finally leave his shack. I don't know if he was able to stop the other people from pumping, and I don't care. The idea is out there and it's spreading. There's no way you can stop it.

The revolution starts today!



At 7:04 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The next thing you know you'll be allowed to vote. What have you started in Oregon?

At 12:44 pm, Blogger Workman said...

We vote by mail, so even that is a little weird.

At 1:41 pm, Blogger Ellen said...

I believe there may be a direct correlation between Oregon's gas pumping laws... and the state's assisted suicide laws. :)

At 9:44 pm, Blogger Suzie said...

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but my bro & sis-in-law live just outside Portland and she was saying that Oregon may even start having store customers push their own grocery carts.

all kidding aside...love your posts, kiddos & I'm learning alot about geography. It's good readin'


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