The other day I was pumping gas (one of the things that lands near the top of my ‘things I HATE to do’ list– yes, I know HATE is a strong word… that’s why I chose it) and I overheard the guy at the pump next to me talking to his kids through the car window.
“You see, fuel is really important in our world because it makes things happen. Making the car go is just one of them. You know, getting money for fuel is what Daddy does for work (Don’t you love how parents are always talking in third person?). What Daddy does is gets money, er, fundraises for fuel for people who can’t afford to buy it.”
I have no idea what he actually meant but I was intrigued at the global lesson (with what I hoped were undercurrents of conservation) being presented to his children. I couldn’t see the man, the car, or the children while I listened to ‘Daddy’s’ diatribe but I assumed that there was a tween in the back and Daddy was engaging him in a one-on-one conversation. Endearing, right? I assumed the man drove a Prius, maybe a Camry. Something sensible. I assumed he also had a Starbucks in the front cup holder. Yuppy. (We all know that ‘to assume’ is to make an ass out of you and me. Can you feel the foreshadowing?). With my Nancy Drew detective skills itching to be used, I peeked around the fuel pump. Daddy had been talking to two small toe-heads in the back seat. Both in car seats. And not the kind where the kids could buckle themselves. Mommy was in the front seat and seemed to comprehend less than the rugrats in the back. My imagination scratched its head at the confusion of the picture that didn’t match the words. But then Nancy and my imagination took note of the vehicle. Daddy and family were not in the fuel-efficient car we imagined. They drove off in a suped-up SUV with some loud exhaust-system that no doubt was burning fuel at a rate of 5 miles to the gallon. I think I missed the part of Daddy’s lesson where he told the rugrats that he encouraged burning through a non-renewable resource. In retrospect, I think his choice to change his phrasing to “fundraise” was my clue that Daddy may not practice what he preached.
I guess my confusion is what I get for eavesdropping. Next time I get gas (which will come all to soon *sigh*), I think I’ll sit in my car.