Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What I wanted to be when I grew up

At one time it seems that most people believed that all children wanted to join the circus or be a fireman or a policeman when they grew up. When I was young, I wanted to be the guy at the gas station who washed the car windows. This was back when if you pulled into a gas station, rather than pumping the gas yourself you could have as many as three people working on your car at the same time. One guy would “fill ‘er up”, while the second would check your oil and look for loose hoses, and the third would wash all the windows on your car, and wipe the head and tail lights! I remember sitting in the car watching the third guy work. Sponge the soapy water on, squeegee it off, wipe around the edges with a clean rag, and the windows sparkled. The guy under the hood I rarely saw, and he was pretty greasy when I did see him, and the guy pumping the gas... Well, my Granny and Grampa H had an old Cadillac, and the place where you put the gas was hidden under one of the tail-lights. There was a small, round reflector at the bottom of this light and you pressed on that reflector to release a catch so that the entire light assembly could swing up out of the way and you could “fill ‘er up”. Granny H and I would sit in the car laughing while some poor guy, usually a teenager, wandered around the car scratching his head and wondering where the heck the gas went in. Eventually Granny would send me out to show this poor mutt where it did, and by this time the guy who did the windows was finished his job and back in the office listening to the radio, or reading a comic book, or doing whatever they did to pass their free time in the nineteen sixties. On one hand we had this guy who comes out and does his thing, is finished, and heads off to sit back with the satisfaction of having done his job well. On the other hand we had this other guy who sometimes had to be shown how do his job by some twirpy little five year old. Now even though I was that twirpy little five year old, I sometimes thought that was sad, so every once in a while, just to make some greasy haired teenager feel better I would purposely go to the wrong tail-light first, thereby trying to give back a little of the poor guys self esteem. Of course, in retrospect, that is even sadder. In any event I still figured that it was better to be the guy who knew where his job was and how to do it well every single time. I wanted to be the guy who washed the car windows.

Anyway... Humouroceros


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