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Free Gas!

My “low tank” light came on during my lunch break, as I was driving up Meacham Road. Fortunately, there’s a BP right at Golf. I kinda hate BP for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it makes my car run assier than usual, but my car doesn’t give me a whole lot of warning before flashing the “low tank” light, so desperate times…

As I filled my tank, and this portly, middle-aged gentleman holding a clipboard walked up to me and exclaimed, “How would you like some free gas?!” The jovial tone in which he said this made me think if I said “yes,” he’d fart in my general direction. Instead, he went into this weird, long pitch about how if I “took a survey,” he’d give me a free $50 gift card for 93 octane gas (which, with these prices and the premium gas, probably wouldn’t even be enough to fill my tank—but still, paying $0 is better than paying $50).

I said, “Okay,” and was about to add, “But only if it doesn’t take long,” when he started in with the questions.

“Do you live in Illinois?”


“Are you over the age of 21?”


“Are you licensed and insured to drive in the state of Illinois?”


“Okay, that’s it,” he said, slipping me the gift card. Then he whipped out the clipboard and insisted I sign an affidavit saying that he did, in fact, ask me those questions. I gave a fake address, took the card, and drove away. I’m…not actually sure it’s legitimate. It seems a little bit too good to be true, but I dimly remember reading a similar tactic being used in the ’70s—gas prices too high? Well, we’ll just give you some free gas, loyal customers. So I snicker at the fact that I’ll use this gas card next time I fill up my tank, and then I’ll probably never use BP again unless it’s another emergency situation.

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