For those of you who live in the MIdwest, you are painfully aware of the extreme temperatures we have been experiencing lately. Oh, sure, we like to brag to the southerners about how rough we are here; how weather-hardy we are because we’ve survived a blizzard or two. Of course, those boasts would be far more impressive if we lived, say, in a hut in the middle of the prairie with no electric furnace, but that’s beside the point.
Negative 40? Now, that really is extreme. Again, we lack the brag factor of saying we’ve actually braved the elements, because in my mind staying cuddled in a heated house while the weather ravages the wildnerness doesn’t really count. It is uncomfortable during those moment when you dash outside to get the mail or let the dogs outside. I’m glad school has been getting cancelled, because it pains me to think of all the little tots who walk to school — most of them underdressed and without hats or mittens. <grrrrrr!>
I stopped at Casey’s to get gas the other day — another day of -something or other, and dang, was it cold! I got out of my car, opened the gas cap, flipped the lever, and waited for the pump to clear.
And waited …
And waited …
And waited …
I figured the place was busy, but by two minutes later, my thighs were starting to get numb and my cheeks had lost all feeling. Finally, I peeked around my car and glared at the window where the cashier stood, hoping that my annoyance would turn into little darts that pierced her eyeballs.
Like magic, the pump turns on.
By then I was half frozen and only wanting enough gas to avoid ending up on the side of the road, so I filled it up halfway and called it good. I stumbled into the station to grab a cup of coffee and pay for my gas.
“Sorry about the wait,” said the chipper blonde cashier. “We aren’t allowed to clear the pump until we see your face.”
I just stood there and looked at her. “Really?” I asked, only because I was so stunned by the fact that on a day that’s -25 degrees, Casey’s would be perfectly content to let someone freeze to death while trying to get gas because their face wasn’t visible.
Maybe there’s a camera behind the window and it’s one of their few protections from gas drive-offs. That I understand. But seriously … in this weather, it’s probably OK to forgo the usual requirements of seeing someone’s face in order to clear the pump. Only certain morons like me would take the time to stop in this weather to get gas.