There’s no such thing as a free lunch. -Aristotle

Being a conscientious motorist, I endeavored to adjust my tire pressure this weekend. I drove over to my local Chevron, topped off my tank, and then coasted over to the air & water pumps. Emblazoned onthe air compressor were the words:

AIR 50¢ QUARTERS ONLY

Whatthefuck?

50 cents for air?! When did this start happenning? How do you market what I previously thought was an inalienable right (yes, I’m aware that we pay for water, natural gas, electricity, etc…but tire air?!) Determined to not be taken by The Man, I drove over to Union 76: 50¢. Damnit!

This, now, was a personal quest, I’d already wasted an hour on this little chore, and I’d be damned if I was going to pay two bits for a few psi of air to throw in my beater-truck. I decided to try the last bastion of cheap gas (in California anyway), and consequently an undoubtedly good place to find free air: Arco-AM/PM. Pulled around to the back, hopped out fo the truck, looked at the compressor, and saw:

AIR 25¢ QUARTERS ONLY

Sweet victory, my friends, was mine.

OK, so maybe it wasn’t as complete a destruction as General Santa Anna’s overrunning of the Alamo, but 50% of a victory is still pretty good. And the fact that the time ran out before I was done, resulting in me putting another quarter in the machine, really has no bearing on this story whatsoever.

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