Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay bad

I had a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" moment a couple of weeks ago when I was at the gas station. Mr. David, if you should want to include this in your show at some point, feel free, as long as I receive a guest spot on your show in return. (You're welcome.)

So on my way home from work one night, I pull into one of those gas stations that's exclusively full-service. When I have the option, I always prefer self-service to avoid incidents like the following.

The gas station attendant fills up my Tiburon's tank at a cost of $30.50. Being the anal-retentive freak that I often am, I give the gas station attendant exact change while sitting in my car. During this transaction, he drops one of the two quarters and the fallen coin rolls around on the dark pavement to parts unknown. The attendant kindly says, "Don't worry about it." His response annoys me.

In reality, I drive home at that point without incident. But here's how I picture the scene unfolding with me/Larry David in the car and special guest star Paul Scheer as the attendant:

Me: "Uh, aren't you going to pick that up right now?"
Him: "Hmm?"
Me: "The quarter. Aren't you going to find it?"
Him: "Nah, I'll find it later."
Me: "Huh. (Tilts head during three-second pause) Okaaay."
Him: "What?"
Me: "So, the quarter'll just sit there."
Him: "I'll
look for it later."
Me: "No, you won't. It's pitch black out! Tomorrow morning, someone else could take it."
Him (miffed): "What's it to you? You paid in full."
Me: "But I didn't pay for someone else to walk by and pick it up! That's a waste of my money!"
Him: "Look, buddy, whatever happens to that quarter is my business now."
Me: "Not if you never see it again!" (Gets out of car.)
Him: "What are you doing?"
Me (Palm outstretched): Give me that other quarter back."

Him: "What?"
Me: "You heard me. If you aren't going to use that quarter you won't bother to find, I'll use the other one. Give it back!"
Him: "That's ridiculous! That gas cost you $30.50, and that's what you gave me! Get off my property!"
Me: "Not until you give me that other quarter!"
Him: "It's. A freakin'. Quarter!"
Me: "But it's my quarter!"
Him: "No, it's not!"

A scrum unfolds, and a cigarette lighter that carried some mildly amusing significance earlier in the episode falls out of my pocket and ignites a pool of gasoline next to the pumps. Seeing this, the attendant and I bolt off the property just in time to watch the entire gas station explode. We look at each other silently, mouths agape.

(BUM, BUM, BUM, dadalada-da-dadalada-da-dun-dun-dunnn, dun-dun-dun dadalada-da-dadala-da, da-dun! Whee! Boom!)*

*This was my sorry attempt at the show's opening/closing theme song. Preceded by my sorry attempt to write a script for a show that's supposed to be improvised. My apologies.