Violence at the Gas-pump

a true story

The man held out the knife just as Dad left the gas station market.  His hands filled with a bag of pistachios and a sugar-free iced tea — one of those wonderfully bitter varieties that refuses to overwhelm the taste buds with fructose and lemon extract.  His hands fumbled with the car keys in his pocket, when the kid strode up behind him fingering a small pen-knife.

"Gimme all your cash, man."

"Gimme all your cash, man."

“Gimme all your cash, man!  Out with it now!”

Dad turned around while the woman beside him jumped hurriedly in her car.  Dad’s eyes flit to the small pen-knife, while he cracks open a shelled nut, popping one into his mouth.  The sound of electronic locks sound behind him.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Dad sighed.  The boy nervously turns the knife.

“Now, man.  All your cash.  Or else.”

“Son, ” Dad says staring hard at the boy.  “Hell no.  You try and do anything and I’ll shove that tiny blade so far up your ass that you’ll be shittin’ dimes into next year.”

The boy does not seem quite sure what to do at this point.  He puts away the knife and shuffles away.

“Jesus mister, you don’t have to be so violent.”


“What happened then, Dad?”  Katie asks in the kitchen few hours later.  Tears stream down her face from the laughter.  Sean is nearly rolling on the floor.

“I got in my car,” Dad shrugged, “and drove to campus to pick up the boys.”

Mom can only shake her head:  pride, worry, and astonishment mingle together among her smiles and laughter.

“It’s a shame though,” he sighed.  “If he would have only asked for a few bucks, I probably would have given it to him.  Looking at the size of that knife, I almost felt sorry for him . . .”