This is the start of a semi-regular feature on this blog. The commuter in question is me -- I am frequently cranky. I'm going to write about stuff that bugs me on the roads, the L, Metra, in airports -- wherever we get around. I wonder if this stuff bugs you too -- or if I am alone in my crankiness.
The gripe of the day is those little TV screens they've started mounting on top of gas pumps. I was pumping gas at a Citgo on Irving Park this past weekend, wanting to zone out a little and enjoy the fact that suburban gas was around $2.26. It had been a busy day, a busy week -- my brain was full.
Then suddenly I found myself watching people falling on their butts -- a little kid falling off his skates, somebody getting knocked over by their dog, somebody getting whacked with a cane. No room for reverie here, no room for one quiet moment while the kids were in the car -- it was time for noisy, cheap sight gags. Something I would never choose to watch on TV was being aimed at me, whether I wanted it or not.
This 3-minute montage of people-falling-on-their-butts was followed by an ad for a company claiming it could help you sell your invention, and a bunch of other ads I didn't want to see. It was like being trapped in front of 3 a.m. television -- there was everything but a Vegematic and a Popeil Pocket Fisherman.
I know gas stations have thin margins, and I know they're trying to pick up a little extra money in these times of up-and-down oil prices. But I have enough noise pollution in my life. I hate these things, just like I hate the TV screens at the check-out at the grocery store. Can't you leave me in peace to read the National Enquirer? Can't I just pump my gas and look at the night sky?
I will avoid any gas station that uses these screens. No falling-on-your-butt videos. I already know where gas prices give me pain -- I don't need a visual. Am I alone here -- does anyone like watching ads while they pump gas?