When the captain of the cruise ship (the Carnival Miracle) we were on in the eastern Caribbean came on the PA system and told us that we were going to be by-passing St. Thomas and Grand Turk to go home early and avoid the pending "Frankenstorm", I was lying on my bed shocked, saddened and sort of annoyed, but all the time knowing that he was doing the right thing and keeping us out of harm’s way... but not everyone agreed.
Later that night I heard rumblings of an angry mob rushing up to the "guest services" desk and demanding we stay true to our itinerary and visit our second and third port of call, this would've been madness. We basically would have put ourselves directly in the path of destruction and dared the “storm gods” to do their will… no way, not me! I could care less that we were headed home; it was time.
Did we get bored on the trip back, did we wish for better weather and a perfect vacation, did we want a better tan and different scenery than the deck of a cruise ship, did we feel a little ripped off from the people who’d had a good time on a previous cruise, yes to all… but the best feeling you can have in this life is to feel safe, and we did.
When we got to N.Y. the day before the port was to be closed, we disembarked, walked to the sidewalk, got two hot dogs (kraut and mustard) and sat on our luggage waited for a bus that didn’t expect us for another twenty four hours. It was cold and the lukewarm hot dogs paled to the lobster and lamb chop dinners that we become used to after a week’s time in the ship’s dining room.
The longshoreman argued loudly trying to get our buses parking spots, but we weren’t listening… we were only thinking about how great it was to be safe on terra firma, and we were thinking of home and what waited for us there, and I couldn’t help but notice how good those hot dogs tasted on solid ground.
These days I almost always pump my own gas, in fact it's pretty tough to find a place that still will pump your gas for you. Yeah sure full serve places still exist, but unless you live somewhere in direct proximity to that station, you are probably not going to go out of your way to get "the full service treatment". Besides, with gas at four bucks a gallon, you’re no doubt going to the most accessible gas station possible! So, when the whole "pumping your own gas" trend caught on I never thought that it would teach us to be rude, or maybe just ruder in the process...
Here’s what I mean: I frequent a local station that is located near my home in Dalton. It is usually busy (very busy). They have a Subway, a small deli, chips, drinks, sunglasses, first aid products, condoms, lottery, tobacco, etc. and of course gas. Now with a myriad of products to choose from inside the store, I suppose it's pretty easy to get lost in there, or at least lose track of time, so may I make a stern suggestion... MOVE YOUR CAR OUT FROM IN FRONT OF THE GAS PUMP WHEN YOU’RE DONE USING IT!!!!
It seems so obvious to me, and perhaps you, but apparently not to everyone that uses these places. You see, when I was a kid we had our gas pumped for us: the attendant came to the window and you knew that your car was full, you paid him, and then you drove off (pretty cut and dried). Now, when you pump your own gas, you're sucked in by the lure of neon lights claiming "The Best Breadsticks In Town", or a Pugs cowboy hat for twenty bucks, or BOGO Pepsi twenty oz.... and you may leave your car in front of a line of gas (and patience) deprived drivers.
Not good; in my case not cool, and in some cases not safe.
Do other drivers (like me) a favor and remember, we are waiting right behind you!