Petrol bowsers reset themselves when the hose is removed from its cradle. Until that time, the details of the last transaction remain on public display. These
dials allow a peek into the lives of others, and to amuse myself while waiting for my tank to fill, I like to speculate on the lives of the anonymous motorists that have passed before me.
A favourite of mine is the round number, plus two cents worth of fuel. This pattern began to appear shortly after the Australian treasury removed the low denomination
copper coins from circulation. The two cents are rounded down at the register, so the motorist does not pay for the extra petrol. Images form as I stare into oil puddles and consider squeedgeeing my windscreen. I see this person's face, leaning in to the pump with unblinking eyes and tongue out, they move in precise, miniscule squirts from $20.00 to $20.01 to yes! $20.02. "Screw you, government fuel excise. Screw you, big oil companies. These extra millilitres are
the fuel of revolution, which shall propel my car through glorious metres of freedom. I have not just these two cents of fuel, but also my revenge."
But it seems that some are destined to over extend themselves. Recently at the pumps a tragic story revealed itself from the digits. The numbers, $30.03, tell a tale of foolhardy courage, and teach the lesson that if one pushes things too far, inevitably they will suffer the consequences.
I buy my petrol in integer amounts.