What a beautiful day in Hillmomba! Temperatures in the very low seventies. A glint of autumn in the slanted sunlight. The smell of freshly cut grass mingled with hickory smoke. But you know what the most sought-after activity was for the native Hillmombans?
HARVESTING FREE AIR FROM CASEY'S GENERAL STORE!
It's true! I dropped off The Pony for his bowling league, and proceeded to town for some gas. While I was there, I figured I would put some air in my slow-leak tire. It was down six pounds. Imagine my surprise when I saw, while gassing up T-Hoe, a LINE for the free air that flows like milk and honey from the brown box on the front wall of Casey's. A cool dude with no shirt, saggy jeans, and boxer briefs sucked from the teat of the convenience-store air hose. I thought I might have a chance to drive over when he pulled out. But NO! A red car came in beside him to wait. And that guy hosed it up as well. While I was in line waiting for a young couple in front of me to come back from the soda machine and pay the $29 and change for their two individual slices apiece of pizza, and energy drinks in small bottles, and Red Bulls, and who knows what else, I spied out the front window a truck that had backed in beside the magical air dispenser.
A GUY IN OVERALLS WAS FILLING A TANK WITH THE FREE AIR!!!
That's a new one on me. I know that Farmer H has an air compressor at the BARn. And that the #1 son says we have a tank that we fill with air from the compressor to put air in my T-HOE tires (except in times when they lose four pounds of air a week and really need it routinely). But I never in my wildest dreams or nightmares thought I would see a guy in overalls at Casey's filling a tank with air from the red car-hose.
Then again...it's free. People are gonna soak up whatever resources they can if they don't have to pay.