My parents were magicians when they drove into a service station back in the day.
Bells would ring to announce their arrival and a service station attendant dressed in a jumpsuit would appear to grant their every wish.
Their first magic command was “Fill ‘er up with unleaded.” Unleaded, being a code word for “we can afford a newer car and therefore have successfully kept up with the Jones.” Immediately our attendant (Ernie) would insert a nozzle into the gas tank and begin to clean the windshield. (My windshield only gets cleaned now if it rains.)
My parents would then recite their next encantation – “check under the hood, please,” and Ernie would pop the hood (I still can’t get the hang or squeezing those weird handles under the hood and propping it open without banging myself in the head an causing a concussion).
After disappearing for a few seconds, he would reappear holding a magic wand (which may look similar to a dip stick) and a blue cloth which he would show to his audience. “You’re a quart low.”
After receiving a nod from my parents, Ernie would again disappear and then reappear with a can of oil and a funnel. He once again disappeared under the hood, reappeared and closed the hood just as the bell on the gas pump rang to signal that the tank was full.
And now, for the finale – the greatest magic of all. Ernie would announce, “I filled your tank and put a quart of oil in your car, that will be $4.99 please.”
BRAVO – ENCORE!!
Original painting available for purchase at Rodeo Market Community Arts Center in Westminster, CO.