Funny stories in under 500 words.

The Gas Station Attendant

Jane had a 1987 two-door sedan and a crush on the gas station attendant who worked across the street from her dull office job. The car was in bad shape, but her crush was growing stronger each day that she stopped in to buy a litre of engine oil. That British accent, the curly hair, the way he looked at her quizzically each time she came in. If she were concerned about being economical, she would get the oil leak fixed or at least buy bigger jugs of oil. But she had other priorities.

She knew she could instead buy a chocolate bar or something similar each time she came in, and in turn deal with her car's issues in a responsible way, but she didn't want to risk appearing too standard to him. Probably about one woman per hour bought a chocolate bar from him. You had to stand out if you wanted to get ahead.

One Thursday, her cubicle neighbour Patty popped her head above the cheap wall divider that separated them. “I saw you outside the gas station again this morning," she said. “Second time this week you've rushed out holding a little grey jug, wearing a shiny happy face like you'd come out of the spa or something. What is that thing, some kind of energy drink?”

Jane looked down at a suddenly important piece of paper on her desk. “Oh, it's just engine oil. No big deal. All under control.” No one could find out about her mission, Operation Catch the Eye of the Gas Attendant Guy. Admittedly, the mission so far consisted of her buying oil from him whenever she needed it, with the hope that something noteworthy would eventually happen.

At the beginning of next week, she popped in to the gas station for her usual. She nodded her head casually at that beautiful, beautiful man behind the counter, which triggered something in him this time around. He raised his eyebrows and opened his mouth, the most amazing words Jane could imagine spilling out of it.

“Hiya, are you, uh, Jane?” he asked, his accent doing something to that 'uh' that was somehow simply irresistible to her.

He knew her name. He knew her name! “Oh, yeah, yes, I am,” she said. This was it. This was the day.

He smiled at her, little dimples appearing on his cheeks. “I met your colleague Patty on Friday.”

Oh no.

“She was telling me that she keeps seeing you come out of here looking happy and such, so she decided to come in herself. Nice woman. Dresses very smart. Fine sense of humour. And I don't usually do that kind of thing—unprofessional and all—but I asked her and she said yes, so we went out to that new Italian restaurant two nights ago. And it's all because of you. So, thanks mate. How about a chocolate bar, on me?”

The time had come, Jane decided, to take her car into the shop.

This story was written by Gina Marrelli. Gina writes about the intricacies of being a twenty-something introvert at


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