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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mary and Pearl Go To The Gas Station, or Might I Say You Gals Look Lovely Today!

I worked a serving job Saturday and so had no time to write. To get you in the mood for the post that will surely follow a weekend job, I take you back in time to another "extra"...

I picked up Mary Saturday morning. We had a full day of cooking and cleaning ahead of us, and a drop-in at the Super America for coffee was in order.

I guess it had been a while since I’d been in a gas station but boy! The lousy economy has really brought out the competitive spirit in some of these places!

What I wanted was a coffee.

What I got was an eyeful – and a seat at the Mary and Pearl Sketch Comedy Hour.

Picture, if you will, Mary and Pearl. It is 7:30 or so on a Saturday morning. They have a long drive followed by hours of work.

Yet they are silly.

They are each clutching a recently poured, large, black coffee; and are staring rather blankly at the multitude of coffee-related add-ons: flavored syrups, flavored creams, sugar and sugar-like substitutes.

“@#$%!” I enthuse. “What in the world is going on here?”

“I remember when this place was a gas station,” Mary mutters.

We counted six kinds of coffee; six cappuccino flavors; nine flavored creams, half-and-half, whole milk, skim milk, and 2%; a dozen flavored syrups; one sugar and three sugar substitutes.

There are also eight teas.

I thought I’d fall over laughing. “Holy crap, Mary!”

Mary’s bright blue eyes got just a touch brighter and I knew we were in trouble. “Hey, Pearl,” she yells from one end of the Trail of Coffee, “Have you seen the whipped cream?”

“It’s over here by the sprinkles,” I say, laughing.

“Oh, tell me they have the little flavored marshmallows!”

“Hmm,” I said. “They have flavored marshmallows, mini marshmallows, extra large marshmallows, marshmallow mattresses, licorice whips, jelly beans and Swedish fish.”

“Grab me a couple mouthfuls of the Swedish fish,” Mary laughs. “Really, though, what the hell? It’s not even light outside and these are more decisions than I normally make in a whole day.”

“What are we supposed to be doing here?” I fret. “Can my coffee support a caramel syrup shot and hazelnut cream? Is it safe to mix Splenda and Equal? At what point does the coffee stop being coffee and turn into dessert?”

“Times is tough,” Mary shrugged. “I’m surprised they aren’t giving away more of this kinda stuff just to get people in!”

“Hey,” I said, laughing. “Where’s my free donut holes?!”

“Where’s my pedicure?!”

“Where's my free coffee with a purchase of a coffee?" Mary leans heavily on a counter top and wipes tears of laughter from her eyes and I can't keep this goofy grin off my face. "Can’t you just see it?” I ask. “They got all this stuff lined up, people are milling about, clumps of huddled, confused women trying to determine, now that they’ve come in for coffee, what syrup they should add, what cream –“

“—whether or not they should add a handful of Swedish Fish to it – “

“They’re going to need a therapist at the end of line, by the cashier, giving out hugs and certificates of completion –“

“—and afterward a representative from the gas station will follow you out to your car, thanking you for your business and then offering to hold you on his lap and burp you –“

“Pfft. I can’t believe they don’t offer that already. Who's gonna burp me? I did NOT come to the Super America only to have to belch on my own!”

“I know, right?” Mary says. “Sometimes I’m just so lonely!”

“I’m gonna write a letter,” I say. “Really, something must be done to further our sense of phony-baloney entitlement around here…”

It was at that point that Mary and I agreed that not enough free stuff was being pushed in our direction, whereupon we paid for our coffees, was hugged and burped by the manager, and proceeded to our cleaning job.

Saturday was a good day, but I never did finish drinking that large coffee.


mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Coffee is one of those things you just rent...especially as you get older. Maybe if you really load it down with all those free extras it will stay with you longer. Errrrrp!

Pearl said...

Delores, :-) I can't help but wonder what the guys at the register thought of us. We really were quite silly!

That Janie Girl said...

I bet the register guys thought y'all were crazy!

And I want a free BMW. As long as we're taking orders.

Pearl said...

Janie, are you going to want Swedish Fish with that? :-)

Vapid Vixen said...

Black coffee. Coconut creamer. The end. You're welcome.

Wish I had been there.

Simply Suthern said...

I havent been in a gas station in a while either. Maybe I should check it out. If they are giving stuff away how bout starting with free gas.

You two are a hoot.

jenny_o said...

With you two, even work sounds like play :)

Jhon Baker said...

To make life easy I drink coffee black, no sweetener of any kind - this helps to eliminate the complicated decision making - however, when I am in the rare mood for soda and chips... that is overload of its own kind.

Belle said...

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by choices like these. I am just glad I don't wear panty hose any more. The amount of choices and sizes for those things used to make me want to cry.

Macy said...

Only eight kinds of tea???
That place has just lost the British vote...

nursemyra said...

I don't drink coffee. Let me know when the free pedicure gets introduced

Mrs. Tuna said...

I refused to get sucked into the tall, grande and venti, gimme a large coffee with cream any day.

You might enjoy my tribute to starbucks


Stopping over from the best posts of the week, new follower.

Eva Gallant said...

You are too funny. I'll bet you made that clerk's day; unless he didn't have a sense of humor, then he probably was cursing you under his breath!

Linda O'Connell said...

The clerk probably thought you were hyped up on caffeine. You make me laugh.

That gentleman's lady said...

Oh dear.....

Susan in the Boonies said...

Best friends turn gas station coffee into a joy filled laugh fest.

As it should be!

Give my love to Mary, and tell her I'd like a latte.

The Elephant's Child said...

Snicker, snort, snicker. Thanks.

Happy Frog and I said...

I'm terribly boring when I order coffee and tea when I'm out to avoid confusion. Not that long ago the process was much simpler but it is crazy out there now. Really enjoyed this post Pearl.

KSK said...

LOL! I was on a road trip and stumbled upon a place like this! I don't drink much coffee.. but the tea choices alone had my head spinning!! Hahaha!

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl!

"At what point does the coffee stop being coffee and turn into dessert?"

This ma'am, is Wisdom. I had two scoops of vanilla gelato earlier, covered with broken amaretto biscuits, and then poured a steaming hot double espresso over the top.

They call it Affogato. I call it dreamy.

I owe you a mail. Indigo x

Bodacious Boomer said...

Fish should never be gummy...

HermanTurnip said...

My local gas station stocks 20 different varieties of air freshners. Little did I know that one could purchase an air freshener infused with the scent of bruises and Hai Karate. It truly is awful, awful stuff.

Rate of Dissent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoody Hoo said...

try going to the 7-11 at 3 in the morning after DJ-ing a late-night party: You're dressed to the nines, and Neighborhood Watch follows you around thinking you're a hooker. Which is I guess... flattering?

the walking man said...

coffee is coffee until you start adding stuff to it then it becomes a concoction, a witches brew of flavors that take any taste of the natural bean out of it...now if they would just add a fifth of good bourbon there with the syrups then they might have some coffee worth having.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Oh my Ever-Lovin' Gawd, I LOVE your Mary stories.
Hafta say, though, that I enjoy all the coffee accessories at the gas stations these days. Gas station coffee used to taste like used motor oil in a carafe. It still does. But now, with caramel!!

Buttons said...

Wow I remember the good old days when a coffee was just a coffee, a freebie was just a freebie, and a mop was just a mop. Funny. Large coffee is that a gallon now? :) B

jabblog said...

Whatever happened to simplicity?

The Empress said...

Every time I stop here, I kick myself in the butt for not being a regular.

What is my problem? Other than ADD and only 5 mins at a time on a computer.

I love Mary and Pearl hour: I have 2 friends like that, where a trip to get celery for our catered events turns into a 2 adult diaper day.

These posts with you two are my fave.