Sunday, April 29, 2007

This Is What Your Grandfather Used To Do

I had to get some gas today; the car was getting too close to empty, although (since I don’t travel far) I usually let it get down pretty far.

A long, long time ago, I used to work in a gas station. That was when people would pull in and ask for “$2 worth,” and I would get the pump going, clean the front and back windows, check the oil and get back to the nozzle before the pump hit the $2 mark.

As I said, that was a long time ago.

It was also a time when you needed to check the oil level, which you don’t these days. You also needed to check the battery acid level, another practice that’s gone by. When we changed a customer’s oil, we also put the grease gun into the fittings (I recall there being about seven or eight) and, even earlier, squirting some foul stuff onto the rubber grommets underneath the car to keep them supple.

That was back when cars’ odometers had five numbers, because not too many cars were going to go “over the top” and make it past 100,000 miles.

Gas is probably cheaper than it ever was, when you factor in the inflation value and not the absolute cost. Cars don’t go through a quart of oil every 300 miles, nor do they need to be greased. Odometers have six figures.

And I am no longer a grease monkey, down in the pit changing oil and plugging tires.


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