Yesterday I was almost out of gas, so I pulled up at the no-name gas station on the outer edge of town. I got out at the front of the left hand bay, and saw a truck was pulled up at the front of the right hand bay. I started to fiddle with my credit card, attempting to remember my zip code in order to placate the pump, when a car drew up behind me. The driver, a white-haired old Anglo man, got out and ran his finger along the completely stoved-in grille of his car. Both sets of lights were smashed and the hood was kinked upwards all across – the car had obviously hit something at speed, probably another car, head on. The damage looked fresh, as though it had just happened that morning.
The man went in to pay for gas in cash and as I stood at my pump, I saw that his passenger, a very young Mexican woman, was holding a scarf to her face as though she did not want to be recognized. There was something blue on the dashboard of the passenger side – are deployed airbags blue? The car looked too old to have airbags.
The man came out with two packs of cigarettes – Marlboro and Marlboro lights. He tossed them into the car, put an unlit Marlie between his lips and started pumping gas. As he did so, a gardeners' truck pulled up into the right-hand bay. The driver then decided to move forward a bit more, which he did by running into the truck ahead of him and shunting it a couple of feet. The driver of the front truck shrugged, then pulled away to give the gardeners more room.
By this time my tank was almost full. I watched the white-haired guy standing at the pump behind me reach into his pocket, cup his hands around his face, and light his cigarette.
I'd seen enough. When the Receipt Yes No screen came up, I pressed "No thank you very much; I'm in a Ford Hurry!" button, and sped away. I didn't see a ball of flame behind me, but I thought it was best not to dawdle, in case.
I memorized the car's number in case anyone ever asks about a kidnapped Mexican girl with a fugitive who rear-ended someone in his haste to get away. The mnemonic is the picture up top.