Friday, September 16, 2011

Tifton, Georgia

Many of you know that I had to make an emergency trip to our home in Florida to pick up work clothing and get the Christmas gifts I have been stowing away throughout the year. Just before entering Florida, I stopped at Tifton to get some gas...and I was filled with gas quite quickly. I stopped at station number one and the pump would not read my debit card so I went inside and was asked by a non-native English speaker, "how many?" many gallons or how many dollars? I didn't get an answer back but the woman waived me outside saying, "start." So, I assumed she meant to start pumping and I would pay when done. Unfortunately, the pump didn't work but she was waiving me to move my car to another pump. Gas forming in my belly.

I moved to gas station number two where the card reader did not work and another guy pumping gas told me to just go inside...the machinery was malfunctioning. I did...second non-native speaker told me to give him my credit card. Really? I did and went out to fill up and then came in to pay and he held up four credit cards. Guess I could choose which one I wanted to charge my gas to. I decided to be honest and use my own card...gotta wonder if everyone else chose my card over theirs? Anyway, I couldn't use their bathroom which was more disgusting than the go in the hole in the floor bathrooms I used in Baghdad so I went on to another station nearby. Did I mention I had serious back pain and all of this stopping, starting and getting out of the car was hurting me like all get out?

After using the facilities at station number three, I decided I needed a coffee. So, I poured a large one, filling it half with vanilla cap and one half with the regular coffee. The clerk asked what I had and I told her I had 1/2 of the specialty and 1/2 of the regular. She immediately told me I, "could not do that." I offered her the cup and told her to pitch it and she allowed as how I had to pay for it. OK...I can not do this or I can pay. I decided I would pay and take the coffee. The labor pool must be very limited in Tifton.

By the time I got to Ft. Myers, my back was so whacked I could only rest. Went to the emergency room early in the a.m. where I was given good meds and within a couple of hours, I could tell that I would: sleep soundly, smile readily and possibly be able to pick up my underwear off of the floor in a day or two. Am mending.

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