I Can Never Buy Gas There Again
A snowy emergency turned ugly fast
Photo by Juan Fernandez on Unsplash
I can never buy gas from Marathon again.
You would have thought I’d have said that many years ago when my first dog, Rylie, was run over by a Marathon gas truck out making deliveries. However, I guess I felt avenged when my stepdad buried the dog right by our huge gas tank so that every time he brought some fuel to our house, the driver would always see the little cross marking the place where Rylie lay dead — killed by the Marathon man.
But I’ve since been able to stop at Marathon stations with no hesitation. Until today.
The snow was coming down so fast no plows could keep up with it. I left the office about 2:45 after clearing my schedule due to the storm. I made it to my apartment complex in forty-five minutes; it usually takes ten. I pulled on to the long street that led to our driveway and saw several young men walking around in overalls. I kept plugging along, puttering up the considerable hill while other pedestrians walked by. One of them said, “I don’t think you’ll make it,” and another said, “There are two cars stuck sideways up there.”
I got as far as I could before I was pulled over by the maintenance team. They were assessing the situation and were trying to come up with a plan to clear the wrecked cars and still allow people up the hill. The snowplow driver was getting more agitated with each passing minute, and he finally took control and made everyone pull out of his way that could. There was no way any of us were getting up the hill with the snow coming down as quickly as it was.
I got out of my car and walked up to talk with the guys to see what was going on. While I headed up the hill on foot, a white Grand Marquis slid sideways into the back of a pickup truck that had already hit another car. The snowplow guy was talking with a woman who had been driving a red minivan; he wasn’t very nice to her, but she was asking him if he was going to plow a path for her so she could leave. She was belligerent and obnoxious and like any good therapist, I instantly diagnosed her.
“I already did!” he bellowed at her.
“Well, I don’t feel comfortable driving now. You guys will have to move my car out of the way. I’m not comfortable. I’m just not comfortable. I mean, LOOK! I can’t even walk in this now.” The barely acknowledged her as they stood around, waiting for someone to take charge. The woman remained in her vehicle for several minutes.
Photo by Valentin B. Kremer on Unsplash
I started walking back to my car to get out of the cold. That’s when I heard the words that have haunted me all day and will probably stay in my head forever. The woman got out of her car and shouted, “I have a colostomy bag and its full. This is a medical emergency and I need off of this hill!”
I stopped dead in my tracks. I continued eavesdropping as the men awkwardly formulated a plan to get her down the hill in the snowplow truck. The maintenance manager suggested a trip to the fire station; she protested that she wanted to go to the Marathon station instead.
Yes, the woman who was carrying a bag of poo, saying she had a medical emergency, wanted to go to the convenience store instead of somewhere that could provide some medical treatment.
The snowplow driver returned from making his deposit and told me he wanted everyone’s vehicles entirely off the hill. I turned my car around and inched down the driveway, stopping to tell the other drivers of his request. Because there was no place to park and I wasn’t sure how long we’d be stuck down there, I drove back to my office, which took even longer this time. I was hungry, so I walked to Penn Station, through several snow drifts, and back before settling in on the sofa in my waiting room to wait out the storm.
All the while knowing that I will now be a BP man for life.
Originally published on February 4, 2009.