When running errands with a car full of children, you do NOT want to be running on fumes. Reluctantly, I pulled over to refuel. Noah immediately hopped out and began smearing grime on the windshield. “I’m cleaning the windows.” Tommy sat with his earphones, seemingly unaware that the car was no longer moving. Sarah ran inside to get a sprite. I stood and fought with the card reader at the gas pump. The pump could hear me talking to it, it just pretended to not listen. I wasn’t in the mood for the silent treatment. Sarah returned from her quest and asked if I was finished filling the car yet. I grumbled a request that the children get their trash out of the car and walked inside to tattle on the pump’s misbehavior. The world’s cheeriest clerk chirped that the readers weren’t working at the pumps and took my card. I did the silent smile and nod thing and returned to feed the car. The children sat in the car listening to their music and deliberately annoying each other. The trash remained untouched. I cleaned out the car while listening to the pump pompously ka-chi, ka-chi, ka-chi the vital ingredient into my car. Every click from that evil pump felt like thieves emptying my already sparse bank account. Eventually, the pump said THUD and I held my breath before looking at the total. The pump smirked a total that was almost a c-note. I slumped back inside the building, thinking about all the groceries that our car just stole from the family. Mary Poppins handed me the charge slip and giggled that the happier she was, the crankier customers seemed to become. I looked into her sparkling eyes, trying to decide if she was making the best of a job that paints a bulls-eye for verbal abuse on you or if she was a deliberately cruel human being. She walked away to laugh at the man who was outside talking to the gas pump. I think I’ll stick to gas stations that don’t require human interactions for the rest of the summer.