Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Christmas miracle

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to go to the supermarket on Christmas morning. Since I had to run errands anyway, I decided to get gas and pump up my low front tire in preparation for a long day of traveling.

Someone was hogging the air machine when I pulled up to the station, so I went ahead and filled my tank. I checked my purse for spare change, knowing that this particular station doesn't give its air out for free. I know, I know... if you buy gas you are supposed to get the air for free, but I didn't feel like walking all the way across the parking lot to the cashier to get a token. Also, I'd neglected to have the pump print a receipt which I knew I would have to present in order to prove that I was an actual gas-purchasing customer, not just some floozy off the street who needed to fill her tire.

I thought I might have a quarter in my purse and it would be worth 25 cents to me not to have to stand in line just to argue with the cashier about my right as an American to free air. I zipped over to the air machine as soon as it was free and was dismayed to see that the zero cents I was currently carting around in my purse would be insufficient to feed the greedy machine. (Seventy-five cents for air! You've got to be kidding me!) Resigned, I opened my door and prepared to brave the blustery weather to claim my token from the cashier.

But then... I heard a noise. Kind of like the merry jingling of Santa's bells or a choir of heavenly hosts singing hosanas or a frosty snowman chasing laughing children down the street or chestnuts roasting on the open fire. Something CHRISTMASY!

"BrrrrrrRRRRRrrrrrrrRRRRR...." was the gentle message which vibrated into my soul. The air machine was still on! I leapt from my car, scurried around to the low tire, sprayed some cold water on my shoe (because I can never tell which one is air and which one is water), grabbed the correct nozzle, and jammed it onto my tire.

A soft whoosh of air told me that my PSI was going up, up, up, just like my Christmas spirit. And then... *clunk*. Just like that the free air was gone. "Perhaps it is enough," I mused solemnly, trying not to let my dejection show. It was, after all, Christmas, and I'd been blessed with 10 seconds of free air.

I started the car again and my dashboard readout showed me the happy news. Ten seconds had been sufficient. My tire was full again... just like my heart.

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