Adventures in the pumping of Gas...

I live in a medium-sized city, as far as city sizes in the United States goes... Greensboro, NC houses about a quarter million people after some annexation last summer. As it goes, there are people from ALL walks of life and castes in my city.

Housing projects? We got 3...
Mansions? I can show you the biggest ones...
'burbs? Yep!
Farm land? Tobacco and corn grows 4 miles east of city limits, still in the county...

Here's the rip, though.
On I-85, the city lasts from exit 132 to just before exit 118... That, ladies and gentlefolk, is 14 miles in length, and does nothing to go into the width of the city, or the size going the other directions. There is a reason that we're the 3rd largest in the state, the county seat... Believe what you will, fuck what you heard - country we are not, 131.2 square miles.

Problem, though...
Population centers in the city lend to the problem that people live in clusters. By "live" I do not say that as "reside," as much as I do "do what we do," which means that I do not live in or near the 'hood anymore, but I will often find myself 8 miles away in the middle of the city, or 2.5 away across the street from where they make Newports to take in the least expensive gas in the city.

See where this goes?
Nope? Good, that is because this is MY blog, not yours...

I generally try to avoid filling my tank between 7:30am and 2:30am... No, that was not backwards or at all messed up... I wake at 6:45am to get to work by 8, alcohol is stopped at 2am, so people head in by 2:30... This 5-hour window allows me to pump my gas with minimal interruption, the antisocial jerk that I most often prefer to be.
Day before paydays a killer, Joe...
Tank nearing empty, needle below the "E" (my car is old enough to buy cigarettes), I stop in the Great Stops on East Lee street --2 blocks from where I got 2 of my tattoos, and one from where I got my 3rd (and would be getting my 4th if my friends weren't coonin' -- let's not go there). It is 2009, I have paid dearly to have lowly mediocre credit, I do not leave the radius of my car from which my remote to my radio will work to pump gas, fuck that...
Due to how the roading in this city works, I am but 2 miles from one housing project, 3 from the other, and 4 from the last (ain't this some shit?). I am standing next to my pump, minding my car and my business...
Then it happens...
"Aye dawg, you need some CD's? DVD's?"
I retort "Nah, homie, I'm good"
"You sho'? I got that new shit"
I have the internets in my house, I SHOULD just say "nah, I'm good" but my "shut the fuck up" reflex has been numbed, so I say "yeah, I got it" which causes him to put the car in park and come to me.


Why is my gas pumping in slow motion? Why is no one calling me to save me?Toying with the CD player in the car has me listening to Chaundon's "Carnage" (yes, I am STILL stuck on this album). Track 12, "Selfish," has been playing to this point in my tank of gas. #13, "Submission," one of my favorites on the album, starts...
In high school, college and real life, I have learned the RARE skill of looking at someone talking while clandestinely tuning them the fuck out and seeming in spite of... I practice at work EVERY day with someone named Heather who will not be named. My peripheral hearing, however, is better than my peripheral vision, so I hear this colored boy in front of me talking about his boy making the beats on the CD he wants to sell me, how they're local and yaddayaddayadda. Joe Scudda, Skyzoo, and Chaundon have completed their verses. Now I have NO undivided attention for him, I mouth along to what is coming from the 2 panasonics in my rear deck, my Audiobahn 12" and 4 tweeters:
Ay yo Sean Price prepare Chaundon for vice
I place cee-lo wit a razor blade slice and dice
I Mike Tyson your moms and Riddick Bowe your hoe
Then Felix Trinidad your dad to get dough
Money makin, honeys shakin'
Fuckit better tip her yo, Ruck is a square who fell in love wit a stripper hoe
Pick a flow, kick flow, any kinda flow
Wanna MySpace feature? That's a pretty penny yo
Listen, Skyzoo on his job he got bitches and guns
So when I'm in BK it's ONE/Listen
The Lion of Judah, a dime of the buddah
I smack the beatmaker up and act like I'm the producer
Sean Price, I don't rap like I used to, I'm much better
So it shouldn't be a question of whether I touch cheddar
The God, bust Berettas, put a hole in your hat
Jesus Price, sole controller of rap, amen bitch...

Neverminding, here... I spent YEARS as a Jazz band nerd, I make beats as a hobby to fuck around when I don't have anything better to do, then hate on my own work in my bedroom... I find time to listen to those that I have loved since high school featured on albums from people my own age. These people give me the 3rd best verse on an album, bookended by my favorite two on other songs. He sees now where my interests are.
"AHH!!! I see you one of those hip hop-ass n****s!"
To which I retort "huh?" as the pump clicks, but now I am about to go "teacher" on him...
"Nah, I'm sayin, you got some people who listen to hip hop, and some that listen to rap... I'm all about that rap, but not so much hip hop, you know?"

*WRITERS NOTE* - My fleetingly SAD lack of faith in ANYTHING born in or after 1985 was validated here...
Now I am loaded...

"Listen, my man... I'ma be 30 on Wednesday... I won't even ask how old you are (this is my inference that he is less than 22, btw)... 'Hip hop,' by original defintion is 4 elements: MC'ing - 'rapping' to the common man, breakdancing, graffiti and DJ'ing... If you are doing ANY of those, my man, you ARE hip hop... I am not one of these self-righteous fuckasses who will shit on Soulja Boy, Gucci Mane, Jeezy or whoever elses 'exclusives' you want me to give to give you five beans for over there because I don't like them... It is what it is.
As it is, don't sell yourself short. Because I am listenening to something that you think places me out of your league does not mean that I am until you have legitimately tried and failed. Now, I am not saying I am gonna buy the CD from you, because I have the internet and can find whatever you got for nothing, but I am not everyman."

(this is where it gets weird)

... now his eyes are drifting... I am giving a lesson he NEEDS if he intends to sell that wack shit in his trunk. My voice has changed to match that of Charlie Brown's teacher. My own non-verbals are so remorselessly FUCKED that I don't even try to hide my disgust for what people are saying or presenting, and this is only if my loose cannon attitude doesn't outright shit on them in the meantime. My gas has BEEN pumped, he knows I am not a sale to him, and it is raining and no one out in the station looks like a sale to him. I am still a waist-length dreadlocked 5'8" 210-pound black dude, so turning his back on me could prove dangerous, statistically speaking... I stop talking (preaching), he says "thanks, my man" and backs down off of me and RUNS to his waiting homeboy's car...

Well fuck me running... I am 7 minutes from my house and 10 more from my Katie's, and have had a 10 minute interjection in which to preach to some brown child who wanted $5 I was unwilling to concede, full of Hurricane Chris, Gucci Mane, and OJ da Juiceman "exclusives"? Now that 30something I just for buttraped on for gasoline feels MORE expensive.

... If I see this kid again, I will punch him in the face and simply kick his ass while my gas pumps. Seems as if the time spent making myself feel better will help me in the grand scheme of things.


AllenH said…
Phlip this is hilarious man. You completely fucked up that Sean Price verse and I only know because I love that song to death. Price kicks some of the most ignorant genius I've ever heard. lol. Nonetheless, I feel your pain because at work the other day this little 20 year old was trying to swear up and down that Gucci Mane was actually better that Jay-Z. Fuck outta here. lol. His logic though? "Oh man you gotta be a trapper to understand" I said I don't have to deal drugs to know a mofo can't rap
Phlip said…
Bullshit, Allen...
I listened to that verse 5 times while I was typing it out.
2 bars -- pause, type.
2 bars -- pause, type.

I did it so as to NOT fuck it up.

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