we duel an old arch-nemesis

I had to face the great demon unarmed, which was typical, but still unnerving. It didn’t help that I was highly fatigued due to a long journey on a treacherous, distant road. I also had to tackle the challenge alone, for I was unwilling to involve others in the great torture that awaited my poor unfortunate twisted soul. Nevertheless, I breathed deeply without fear, and began the battle I could not fail.

Demon Pump: Welcome.

The Arcturus Project: [swipes card]

DP: Is this a debit card?

TAP: No.

DP: Would you like a car wash?

TAP: No.

DP: Would you like a receipt?

TAP: No.

DP: …

TAP: …

DP: Please enter your zip code.

TAP: xxxxx

DP: Would you like to swipe your rewards card?

TAP: [breathes deeply]

DP: Would you like to swipe your rewards card?

TAP: No.

DP: Are you having a nice day?

TAP: Oh god, please. [breathes deeply]

DP: The weather is warm, but perhaps too humid.

TAP: Can I please have my gas now? I’m paying for it, honest.

DP: Don’t forget to save and shop. 99 cents off select beverages…

TAP: Okay, [breathes deeply] okay, here’s the deal…

DP: …and don’t forget to download our app for extra savings.

TAP: …you’re going to give me the gas now. Or I’m going to leave my car parked here, and go fuck off for about an hour, thus preventing you from selling anything to anybody else. But then I’ll go buy some smokes, and light up right here at the pump in complete violation of established local regulations. Then I’ll call the fire marshal and tell him you all told me you were cool with it.

DP: Interesting.

TAP: Then I’m gonna walk over there and tape the tire air line in the open position, so it just bleeds off air perpetually. After that I’m going to go randomly stop cars on their way in and inform the drivers that this station accidently put nothing but diesel into their tanks, and it just trashed my engine, thus preventing me from arriving at the kill shelter in time to save my long lost kitty Steve from an untimely and unjust demise. After that I’ll dump the whole tub of windshield cleaner on top of my entire car, and start washing it with a newspaper I take from your bin without paying.

DP: Your insolence is amusing to my preconfigured machine brain.

TAP: Then I’ll stroll on back here, light up again, and keep trying to start a fire on all the dried gas stains on the concrete using cigarette ash.

DP: You will not do any of this. You would not hazard your own survival, non-incarcerated liberty, or otherwise, just to acquire the gas you have already paid for.

TAP: Believe me, I’ll do it, you have no idea how crazy I am. I’m a freaking lunatic.

DP: I remain unconvinced.

TAP: I write regularly for a blog.

DP: …

TAP: …

DP: Please lift handle, please select fuel type.

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