CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- One year at Christmas I was working part time at the Exxon station on Oakwood Road. One of the pumps was full service. Every time I went out to pump gas, people would tell me, "If I had known a girl was coming, I would have pumped it myself."
Then I would have to tell them that I was going to be out of a job with attitudes like that and I needed the job. Once they heard that, they would let me pump their gas.
One day I went out to pump the gas for someone in a very nice SUV. When I went to the driver's-side window, all I saw was a well-manicured hand holding a $100 bill. The dark-tinted windows were barely cracked so that I could hear the lady tell me to give her $20 worth of gas.
I pumped the gas, and I went inside to get the change. When I turned around to go outside to give them their change, the SUV was gone!
I went outside to look both ways and I didn't see the vehicle. I walked over to look at the parking lot next door because many of the customers would go over there after they got gas. I saw a black SUV in the parking lot, but I wasn't sure that it was the same one.
So I called the manager of Fruth Pharmacy (I worked there also), and I asked him to track down the owner of the black SUV in the parking lot to see if they accidentally left me their change. He found them, but they told him that it wasn't them.
It was then I started to realize that they had left me the money on purpose. I was happy on the one hand, but on the other hand I thought they would realize that they had made a mistake and come back for their money.
I didn't spend any of the money for three days, just in case they did come back for it.
A couple of days before Christmas I decided that they weren't coming back. I bought myself a little something, and I bought presents for my nieces and nephews that I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise!
Because of the mystery Santa in the SUV, I had a very merry Christmas in 2001.
Pam Brennan may be emailed at pambl...@yahoo.com.