The other day, I needed to fill my car with gas, so I pulled into the convenience store I most frequent.
Even before reaching the pump, I had to deal with the fact gas prices are on the rise again.
When I stopped, a gallon of gas was more than $3.50. It wasn't too long ago a gallon was less than $3.25. There was even a time a little further back when it was hovering around $3.
That's cool, especially when you could partner that with a certain grocery store bonus discount.
At one stop, I paid less than $3 for a gallon.
That's makes for the kind of conversational fodder my dad and I enjoy.
"Guess what?" I would ask him.
"What?" is usually the response.
That's when the conversation generally heads in one of many directions.
That time, the chat was about gasoline. Dad's biggest contention is America has plenty of gas, and prices should not be so high. He worked at a chemical storage facility all his life, so I tend to put a lot of stock in the knowledge he professes to have about gasoline.
I'm pretty sure the oil tanks with Hess, Amoco and the sort on the side are filled with gasoline.
But, back to my most recent fill up.
Even with the extra cents taken off because I have a bonus card, it barely brought the price per gallon to less than $3.40. Still, saving at the pump is great, considering much of the bonus card credit came from purchases of those individual K-Cup coffees.
The way I look at it is, one kind of fuel to save a little on another kind of fuel isn't too bad.
I turn and look away for a while as the total rolls higher and higher, quickly reaching $10. I break out in a sweat once it rolls past $40.
I was able to keep from reaching the $50 mark only because I didn't drive around for two days with the fuel light brightly shining on the dashboard.
I'm bad about driving until there's maybe a drop of two in the tank.
When I'm done filling my tank, I usually get a receipt. I don't know why. I generally put in my pocket and tear it up when I get home.
I'll even go to the clerk when the little digital screen reads, "The clerk has your receipt."
My last fill up, I didn't have to do that. Instead, the pump spit out a length of paper that looked like a puppy's tongue flapping in the wind.
I reached for the slip of paper sticking out of the narrow slot at the bottom right of the pump.
Before I shoved it into my pocket or tossed it onto the passenger's seat, I noticed something a little odd about the receipt.
I couldn't believe what I saw. I adjusted my glasses and looked again. I took my glasses off and held the slip of paper at a distance so I could read it again.
Nope. What I thought I saw, I saw, knowing full well there was a letter missing.
I'm not saying this particular gasoline company should rethink its product advertising or not. But maybe honesty could be the best policy in this case.
When I looked at the receipt, the very last line read "HELL." I was even thanked for visiting. In fact, I was thanked for visiting "HELL" twice.
Now that's what I call service with a smile.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.