Will Bueché

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Pump the pavement

Posted in Personal by Will on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005 ~ 2pm

The first time I stopped to get gas for my car in Albuquerque, I sensed something may be different about the pumps here. I had not driven my car across the country myself (I’d flown while someone else drove my car) so I did not have any reason to be sure of the impression, but, I felt that these fuel pumps here might not sense when a car’s tank is full. In all the town’s I’d lived in, pumps knew when a tank was full and automatically stopped, releasing the trigger even when the trigger was locked into place. But did they here? The first time I fueled up I did not take the chance – I simply pumped ten bucks worth and stopped manually. My second refueling was today and I decided to go for a full tank, intuition be damned. I put the nozzle in, clicked the trigger, and waited. And sure enough, after my tank was full, gasoline started overflowing all over the place, down the side of my car, onto the pavement. Fortunately the nozzle had some kind of splash guard so it didn’t get on me (except for a lingering scent on my hands). Maybe that splash guard had subtly indicated to me that these pumps may be more primitive, but then again I had no reason to believe that non-sensing pumps even existed. I’m not sure which aspect of this story is most interesting — that intuition works, or that there are non-sensing pumps in Albuquerque. Perhaps “interesting” is too strong a word.

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