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Friday, 12 April 2013

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

I like precision. I get a real buzz when things fit together perfectly. I remember listening to a Korn track in which the guitar solo was so tight I had to hold my breath to stop from bursting with excitement.

I don't often play golf but when I do and I strike the ball square on with no slippage it's almost a religious experience.  In my mind's eye I can see the flat edge of  the club hitting the ball perfectly and the ball flying off unswervingly, straight as a die, landing exactly where it was meant to.

I'm sure that like me you've seen that football struck so perfectly that nothing, human or otherwise, could have prevented it from ending in the back of the net. It was struck so sweetly that you and the whole stadium held its breath at the impossibility of the shot.

Or that feeling when a singer hits that stunningly high note dead centre and a perfectly pitched note travels down your spine jangling every bone. There's a delight and awe in such sharp shooting, in the screaming precision, of these things. The human eye, hand, foot, voice so delicately controlled creating such exactitude. Which explains why I love mechanical watches, but no more of that...

.....so it's quite a disappointment to me to realise that despite all the skill, all the manpower, all the resources the petroleum industry cannot devise a petrol pump that delivers exactly the amount of fuel you want.

Surely it's not beyond the wit of BP to create a piece of equipment which allows you to, I don't know, plug in how much fuel you want and the machine obediently delivers that precise amount.

The other day I went to the petrol station for my monthly top up of £20 worth of diesel. You may say I'm sad, you may say I'm a skin flint, or a money grabbing old fart and you'd be right, but I'm also a precise MGOF.

I drove up in the car, approached the pump, selected "Diesel" and inserted the hose into my fuel tank. I pressed the trigger on the pump handle and the dials started to whirl as the juice glugged its way into my car.

Initially, I pressed the trigger recklessly, the dials whirling around at a frenetic pace - what did I care, I'd £20 to blow. Yet suddenly I was already up to £18.99 so I eased back. Too sharply that time, the dial stopped turning and the lady in the queue behind me started tut-tutting. Ignoring her I gently squeezed the trigger - £19.10...£19.44...£19.93..I'd stopped to soon. I cursed. "It between you and me "Pump Head"" I murmured and pulled on the trigger ever so gently. My actions were so delicate, so precise but the pump was too ham fisted and it jerked round to £19.95...£19.97..£19.99. I sighed, the woman behind sighed, the pump sighed and I gently, oh so gently tickled the trickle of fuel back into life....£20.01.

With immense disappointment I replaced the pump, screwed the fuel cap back on, smiled at the lady behind me whose mammoth 4X4 would gulp down 90 quids worth in a blink of her over extended eye lashes, and headed disconsolately for the cash till.

I just hoped the grandma behind the till would take pity on me as I explained that I'd only a £20 note,  my debit card having been eaten by my bank's ATM that morning.

At that precise moment I felt rather foolish..

9 comments:

Steve said...

The answer is: the people who make hot beverage dispensers need to design a petrol pump.

Bojo said...

Grandma behind the till? She's so lucky to have a young customer like yourself.....

The Sagittarian said...

ah the joys of life in the fast lane!!

Nota Bene said...

I swear the meter doesn't have a mark for £20...

Marginalia said...

Dear Steve, most of the stuff that those machines dispense has the consistency of, and tastes like sump oil.

Dear Bojo, I agree...

Dear Sag, you should have seen me in my golden years.

Dear NB, How clever of you, I hadn't thought of that.

Anonymous said...

If you had stopped jerking at £19.99 you would have been a penny richer.

Marginalia said...

Dear Anon, it wasn't me that jerked!

Anonymous said...

Evidently this blog has run out of gas....

Marginalia said...

Dear anon, just resting on the hard shoulder.