Postcard from Baltimore

The following is from our former Managing Director, Debbie Chinn, who left us this August to take up that post at Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE.

Am slowly adjusting to life here. Little things come up to bite me, such as this time I went to fill up my car. Evidently, cars made in California don’t have gas tanks that easily accommodate gas nozzles in Maryland. After I filled up the tank, I couldn’t get the nozzle out. I twisted and turned, tugged and shoved…all to no avail. I asked the nice man pumping gas next to me if he could help and he also had trouble getting the nozzle out. I went inside the gas station and spoke to the person behind the bulletproof glass and he paged the owner. The owner then called a technician to help. Both rocked the car back and forth and still the nozzle wouldn’t budge.

I then called Audi roadside service and forgot that I never changed my address so they assumed I was calling from California. The owner suggested I call AAA and I got a clueless cretin who asked if the car was drivable. I said, sort of. She asked if the car could start and I said yes. She said that they could then tow it to the nearest repair shop. I explained that the car was literally attached to the gas tank and so she’d have to tell the tow truck driver to remove the tank as well.

By this time, I had a crowd of seven big burly men surrounding me laughing hysterically as they were overhearing my conversation. She asked to speak to the owner because she wanted to know how big the gas tank was (probably she really thought it could be unearthed from the service island and hoisted onto a tow truck). The owner told her she was out of her mind. She then suggested I call the fire department because she realized the gas tank was flammable. After I hung up on her, the seven men followed me to the car and collectively lifted it and shook the car while I yanked at the nozzle. It finally came out.

And so that’s how you fill up a car with gas in Maryland…

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