Playing Musical Chairs Cars in the Parking Lot
I kept being the odd one out in the parking lot
Tony and I dropped the boys at school one morning, recently, and during the 25 minute drive home we suddenly had a toffee-caramel flavored milk drink attack. And it had to be really cold (the drink, not the weather or the attack.)
Luckily, the perfect little shop for this was along our route, at a service station on the side of a potholed busy little road. What's not so perfect about the little shop at the service station is that the service station is also small and every truck and car for miles around seems to use the place! Couldn't they go somewhere else, and clear up some place for us? We had a really cold toffee-caramel flavored milk drink bad attack!
There was space to squeeze in (my dad's car I use is really small) between the only diesel pump there on my left (right next to the entrance to the little shop) and the two gasoline pumps to my right.
I was driving and was on the right hand side of the car (this is South Africa.) Tony got out the car on the left, edging past the smelly diesel pump. Petrol, as we call it here in South Africa, has always smelled better than diesel, but we couldn't park too close to the gasoline (petrol) pumps (because all the cars and trucks for miles around use the little service station.)
And as it often goes with Terry and Tony (Terry's me,) a petrol pump attendant came flying over to us (on foot, please there's no space there for aeroplanes to fill up too,) as Tony was edging past the not-so-good-smelling diesel pump. The petrol pump attendant asked us to please reverse a bit, because a huge truck that was off to my right was going to be filling up with diesel (and all we were doing was trying to fill up on really cold toffee-caramel flavored milk drinks.)
Well, although Tony was semi-stuck between the diesel pump and the left hand side of the car (the passenger side; this is South Africa,) he was on foot and had no intention of reversing, as the toffee-caramel flavored milk drinks were in the other direction. So it had to be me. I was behind the steering wheel, and not really stuck.
So reverse I did, while the gasoline pump attendant smiled at me with gratitude (or perhaps he was smiling at Tony on the other side of the car, stuck between the car and the diesel pump, easy to see, because my dad's little car I drive is really small) and then he vanished into a tiny room somewhere ahead and to the left of the diesel pump (also on my left.) I think that's the place they get receipts for the drivers of the cars and trucks that come from miles around to get their kicks causing havoc in a tiny little parking area at a tiny little service station.
While Tony vanished into the shop, I reversed. I couldn't reverse far because about a small truck size back (or 4 of my dad's little cars size back) was the potholed busy little road. I got pretty far back though, and looked up and up (and up) to the driver in the cab of the big truck to my right (the one that needed diesel.) There was no driver; the cab was empty.
It was around the same time that I spotted the driver (getting up from the side of the truck where he'd been checking one of his wheels) that from the potholed busy little road behind me, a nifty little car came whizzing past me - right into the parking place I had just vacated.
The petrol pump attendant emerged from that tiny little receipt room at about the same time as the driver of the nifty little car was vanishing into the shop (probably had a toffee-caramel flavored milk drink attack too.) Well, the petrol pump attendant nearly had an attack too.
Luckily nobody had to call any emergency services as the driver of the nifty little car came back out the shop (without a toffee-caramel flavored drink, not even a strawberry flavored one, and definitely before Tony, who had probably found another diesel pump inside the shop and had gotten stuck again.)
Still feeling much in the way, I tried to reverse more into the busy little potholed road behind me, in an effort to do one of those odd turns you only have to do during your drivers' licence test, so that I could pull up just on the outskirts of the little service station, and park alongside the busy little road, where there were not too many potholes, and wait for Tony - and my milk drink!
The thought of doing that (the parking alongside the road, because I was already half backed into the road across oncoming traffic) was barely in my dehydrated head, when I realised it was a silly move. That truck was so huge (the one that needed diesel) that I couldn't think small and hadn't really noticed there was already a car parked where I wanted to be, even though that car was not as small as mine (my dad's.)
All hope was not lost though, because if I did a really sharp U turn, I could just miss the truck now trying to park itself in a tiny area next to a single diesel pump next to a tiny receipt room, and could be faced all ready to drive out of the parking area (what parking area? crosses my mind here), on the curb (and at an angle behind the car parked on the side of the road where there were not too many potholes.)
So I started making the sharp U turn, but had to stop to wait as a half-sized truck pulled into that area, ready to look for traffic and pull into the road and vanish off into the nearby distance past many other service stations nobody seemed to want to use that day.
While the driver of the half-sized truck looked for traffic, he wound up his window. It was hot, so that was a little odd, but then he opened his door, switched off his engine and got out the truck and went into the shop.
After the driver of the car that had parked on the side of the road, and the driver of the half-truck had passed each other and shook hands at their accomplishment of getting ahead in the musical chairs cars party game, the driver of the car on the side of the road pulled off. A space, I see a space!
As I was pulling into the parking space, Tony walked up with two toffee-caramel flavored milk drinks, nice and cold.
Although I'm South African, perhaps you can hear the Texan drawl here: "That toffee-caramel flavored milk drink was the best darn drink I ever had."