I open the little superman blue door of the Chevy Cobalt, and my dog springs out from behind my seat and starts running his fool little head off in circles through the gas station parking lot. I am particularly well dressed in my super baggy sweats and a wife beater, and have no choice but to leap out of the car and begin to chase him. Barefoot. After his brush with death, I picked his little butt up and threw him into the back seat, slamming the door quickly. He’s such a jerk.
So after our ridiculous display, I begin the gassing up process. I start it up, and head into the building for some liquid refreshment and a bathroom break. (Yes, I put on my shoes. You’re gross.) In that time span, my mother calls. I am describing the scene I made with my idiot dog, and I hop in the car and pull out of the gas station.
I vaguely recall some people honking… I assumed they were honking at someone else… why would they be honking at ME? So I hop on the interstate and go about my business. I make it roughly 40 miles, before a car pulls up beside me and honks repeatedly and flashes their lights, waving two sets of arms out the window. This time I notice. I see them pointing in the general direction of my gas cap, and was like, oh, I must have left my gas cap off. Let me stop and close it. I make a graceful exit to the side of the highway, and a semi exits the highway along with me. I walk around the side of my car, and there is the nozzle for the gas pump, still attached to five feet of hose and a large metal connecting piece that had been trailing behind me leaving sparks for the past half an hour. I stare in disbelief for a moment while the driver of the rig approached me. He’d been trying to get my attention for the entire time, and was checking to make sure I was okay. I assured him that I was fine, just pretty severely deficient in the brains department. He left.
After the initial “I am the most retarded person in the world, what do I do now?” thoughts, I managed to regain a clear thought process: Call the highway patrol. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “Hi. I got gas roughly half an hour ago, and forgot to take the pump out of my car.”
Dispatcher: “Yes, we have had about 29 calls about you.”
Me: “Oh yeah? Well, what do I do?”
Dispatcher: “Pull over and wait for an officer. We’ll send someone to meet you.”
Me: “Okay. Just anywhere?”
Dispatcher: “Yes ma’am. Which exit are you at?”
Me: “Exit 280.”
Dispatcher: “Pull off there and wait.”
Me: “Like, on the off ramp?”
Dispatcher: “Yes ma’am.”
Dispatcher: “Yes ma’am.”
Me: “Fine. Thanks.”
A couple minutes later, a cop pulls up behind me. I open my door. Dog makes a run for it. This time, I catch him mid-jump and toss him up onto my hip, holding him like a small child. Barefoot again. In sweats so large I could fit three of me in them. On the off ramp. At 9pm. Because I stole part of a gas pump. I wait for him to approach me.
Cute cop: “Evenin’”
Me: “Um, hi.”
Cute cop: “So you still got the hose?”
Me: “Yessir, I do.” I pop the trunk, where the hose lay coiled. We stared at it for a minute. I think it’s a safe bet that he’d never driven off with a gas pump attached to his car.
Cute cop: “Well, I reckon they want their nozzle back.”
Me: “Right now?”
Cute cop: “Well yes ma’am. I think that would be the right thing to do.”
Me: “Yessir. I don’t know where I took it from.”
Cute cop: “Do you have a receipt?”
Me: “No sir.” I still had the freakin’ pump attached to my car. I most definitely did not acquire a receipt in that transaction.
Cute cop: “Do you remember the exit?”
Me: “No sir.”
Cute cop: “Town?”
Me: “No sir.”
Cute cop: “Anything?”
Me: “Um well I think it was east of Mt. Juliet. And I smelled BBQ.”
Cute cop: “That’s (so-and-so’s). Watertown, exit 238.”
Me: “Okay. So what happens?”
Cute cop: “Well, I reckon they’ll just be glad that you’re not hurt and they got their pump back. There’s not too much damage to the nozzle. No harm no foul, right?”
Me: (blank stare)
Cute cop: “Well, they’ll be waitin’ for you.”
I returned the nozzle. To the gas station where I’d already run around barefoot in my pajamas after a very fast orange dog then driven off still attached to their gas pump. They didn’t want any money. There was no damage to the rental car. Just my ego.