Memo to the Guy in the Escalade

To: Customers at the Foothill & Claremont Arco
Cc: SUV owners in the greater Los Angeles area

Peak pumping hours at the gas station (e.g., after work or at lunch) can be stressful – customers must often wait several minutes, fingers tapping on the steering wheel and fuel light flickering, while those ahead in line finish filling their swimming-pool sized gas tanks. We all prefer sitting in traffic on the freeway to sitting in the gas station parking lot, so it is to everybody’s benefit if pumps are utilized as efficiently as possible.

Many gas stations are configured with three pumps per row. Effective pump usage requires that all three pumps be occupied at all times, with minimal time losses during maneuvers to and from the pump. This can be most easily accomplished if, when driving up to a row of pumps where both the immediate and middle pumps are open, you drive to the middle pump.

It may be impossible to ensure that the fuel intake of your very large vehicle is directly aligned with the middle pump. Please note, however, that most modern gas pumps are equipped with hoses of adequate length for use with vehicles parked within a reasonable radius of the pump, and you don’t have to have it exactly fucking perfect, jackass. If you have questions as to the ultimate limitations of the hoses at your filling station, observe the Geo Metro in front of you, crudely jammed between two SUVs and pumping gas while located several feet from the commonly-used pumping area.

It should also be noted that this is Los Angeles, not San Fransicsco, and drivers here are not particularly well-known for their parallel parking finesse. Cars larger than subcompact class may be prevented from using the pump at all until you have finished; even if they are not, forcing the car behind you to parallel park at the pump wastes others’ time and patience, and increases the risk of a minor accident.

Following proper etiquette and taking care to keep the middle pump easily accessible will make the fueling experience better and safer for everyone.

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