Stupidity at the Gas Pump

If you drive a motor vehicle, bicycle or have engaged in pedestrian pursuits, it’s probable that you’ve been accosted by vehicular stupidity. It is inevitable, especially in city driving because of the sheer largesse of the number of vehicles out there. Even at the gas pump, a stuper (short, yes, for stupid person) could be lurking in a nearby car ready to spread annoyance and obstruct intelligence as in this example:

I pulled into a gas station; all pump stations were occupied. Fortunately, two drivers in one row turned on their engines. The first car drove off; an obvious signal to me that the way was clear for the second car to follow suit and for me to then pull forward.

I patiently waited for the second car to leave. A minute lapsed during which time the driver frequently glanced in his rear view mirror at me, at passers-by, other cars, pedestrians, a crow chomping on a potato chip and clouds drifting through the sky. His engine, remember, idled on.

Was he going to leave or pull forward or what? There was not quite enough room for me to pull around him. I wondered, does time pass differently for a stuper or was I just being impatient?

After almost three full minutes, I slowly attempted to ease my vehicle around his so that I could use the front pump. My car was cumbersome, but I managed. I got out and stared at the driver. The expressionless man regarded me briefly while he sat in his car. His mouth was slightly ajar, eyebrows raised perpetually in surprise. He maneuvered around my car about two minutes later and finally left.

What should I have done?

  1. Taken out a baseball bat that I kept handy in my back seat and swung a little sense his way;
  2. Driven across the street to the used car lot, borrowed the Hummer sitting out front, returned and forced him out of my way (all of which I could have easily managed in the time that he was sitting there);
  3. Gone up to his car window and politely asked him to leave; or
  4. Moved to another station.


If the driver intentionally kept me waiting, stupidity was not at work. Intent requires thought and purpose, neither of which exists for a stuper. I believe this fellow suffered from a hindering lack of awareness stemming from a head that was mostly hollow (nothing therein properly worked, like a car running without wheels). In retrospect, I would have been better off following D. No one should be forced to witness such sheer stupidity.

Keep thinking, 









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