AA Grundi: To pay at pump or not to pay at pump?

Filling your car is way too stressful these days.
Filling your car is way too stressful these days.

There are certain chores in life I’ll do whatever it takes to put off for as long as physically possible.

Getting a haircut is one. To avoid the monotonous conversation, itchy shoulders and ridiculous price for a trim I’ll happily wait until my hair is as long as Rapunzel’s.

Going to the doctor or dentist is also something I’ll put off until Last Rites are closing in too - though I wouldn’t recommend that, kids. And increasingly you can add to the list what should be a simple task - filling my car with fuel.

The Bentley is often left running on fumes as I try to delay the inevitable.

When did filling your car become so stressful?

First there’s the ridiculous queues of people who flatly refuse to use both sides of the pump even though the nozzles stretch all the way.

I’m often left banging on the leather steering wheel begging for mercy from these morons. Then when you eventually get to the pump you’re faced with a tricky dilemma.

To pay at pump, or not pay at pump? That is the question. And there’s no easy answer as both are riddled with pitfalls. Those pay at pump machines are some of the most awkward things ever invented. First you are asked to scan your bonus card.

This has to be held at 30cm from the scanner and would take a degree in microsurgery to get in the right spot to scan properly.

If you go to pay at the tills it’s no better. Huge queues and no matter how hard you concentrate you always forget the stupid pump number.

And why no matter how much I shake the nozzle (stop giggling at the back) do I always end up with the dregs of the petrol on my polished brown brogues?

The only good thing about the whole experience is the wonderful smell - if I’m ever going to become addicted to sniffing anything it could well be petrol.