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DING DING. My fuddah roll ova the rubbah hose at Abe Chevron in Haleiwa.

"Wot? Fillum Mup etto?" the service station attendant said to my fuddah.

"Yeah" he said, "might as well." My fuddah always put etto insai da car.
"I don't put the cheap stuff inside cuz da car going be hud starting and da buggah goin' "ping" when we go up one hill." He said

"K" the attendant said. His blue uniform shirt wit da Chevron logo on top da pocket is cool. The shirt no was tucked in and das when Abe yells at him, "I tole you tuck da shirt in Kazu!"

Kazu half heartedly makes an attempt to shove the shirt in his pants from the back, leaving bulges of material in the front. Mistah Abe stay grooming his boy, Kazu for take ova da business when he retire. No can run da business wit shirt hanging out right?

"Deeze kids nowdays," Mistah Abe said shaking his head and wiping his hands on a shop towel.. "How's the family Mistah Brown.?"

"Good. Good," my fuddah said, "your boys getting big, eh?"

"Yeah, I trying fo' teach dem da business but dey oneee like make hotrod." Mistah Abe said pointing his jaw to a souped up looking '55 Chevy in black primer wit the hood up and big tires..

My fuddah agreed wit Abe, "just like mine one," he said, pointing with his thumb, "he tink he Jerry Lewis, always making jokes. I tell him no can make a living telling jokes."

"Das how," Abe said grinning at me and shaking his head.

The Chevron station was right next to Kato Store and across the street from the Post Office. For as long as I can remember we always put gas at Abe Chevron. My fuddah was proud of his Chevron charge card. Mistah Abe took the card and I watched him crank the lever over the card making a carbon copy. KRUNK KRUNK. He brought the receipt on a clip board for my fuddah to sign. My fuddah made a ceremony of signing his signature and tearing off his copy before returning the clipboard to Abe. "Dare you go," he said.

"So da waves beeg, eh?" Kazu said wiping the passenger side glass and looking at me through the open widow. He knew we lived at Waimea wea had big waves.

"Yeah," I said but my mind was on uddah things. Working at one gas station is so cool, I thought to myself. Get all the cool cars come put gas. You can read the hot rod magazines. You can look at da "Snap On Tools" calendar with da girl in one bathing suit and beeg da kines. You can get your hands all dirty and no body going scold you. "Two haoles from Schofield wen get sucked outside."

"Man," Kazu said, "you not going catch me out dea. You lose your board, you suck wind. You gotta swim all da way in. Not me boy."

He was older, about 16 with slicked back black hair. His blue jeans were black at the knees. I bet his muddah don't scold him about oil on his pants, I thought to myself.

Maybe I can work at Abe Service Station next summer, I thought. That would be cool.

Another car pulled into the station. It ran over the rubber hose that laid across the driveway. It activated the bell. DING DING.

Mistah Abe was on the phone inside the office. Kazu was checking our tire pressure. He carried the pressure gauge in his shirt pocket like a pen with a clip to keep it from falling out. He was always ready for a tire pressure check! I could hear the air come out of the tire as he sampled the air pressure. SSSHT!

"Mistah Brown, your tire pressure stay low on the back tire." He called out from the rear of the car. "32 ok?"

"Yeah, that's good," my father said

I looked over at the other car. Old filopino man in his Chevy

Chee, if I worked here I could run over to the other car. "Fillum Mup Etto?

"No, daaa reg-lah", Mr Bolosan said.

I ran to the side of the Chevy and cranked the side of the gas pump. The numbers clicked and reset in the window. I pulled on the hose and pushed the lever up. I could hear the electric pump nearby go on. I opened the silver gas cap and shoved the nozzle into the hole, clicked the trigger and put the pin in place to lock it on.

I took the rag from my back pocket and pulled the hitch that popped the hood open. Pulling the dip stick from the tube, I wiped the end and inserted it back in the tube. As I pulled it out I could see that the oil level was below the second line. Hmm..he stay one quart low.

"Mistah Bolosan, you stay quart low." I said showing him the dip stick. He squinted at the stick and said: "Nah, next time, boy."

K'den no blame me if you go Wahiawa up da hill and you burn your engine up, I thought.

Time fo' check da tires SHTTT. The needle part on da gauge pop up. Between 28 and 30. Good Good. I reached into the bucket with murky water with rainbow circles of oil floating on top and pull out da squee gee. Lean across da hood make da sponge pot soap up da windshield and den da rubbah blade pot make da glass sparkle.

I stay look insai da old Chevy get one box mango in da back seat, couple old worn out towels da kine you get insai da detergent box fo' free. Da kine my muddah say "junk" cuz you wash'em couple times and da buggah get pukah already. "Good for rags in da garage" my fuddah sed.

The gas nozzle go "chunk" and da gas stop. Da buggah full. Put back da gas nozzle. Read da pump: $3.37 for fill up da tank. I tell Mistah Bolosan how much. He lean forward in his seat and reach for his wallet.

His wallet is brown leather but stay all buss up. Like he had'em fo' ewa. Da thing stay thick wit cards and get one rubbah band around it. He look at me first and den concentrate on opening da wallet. Hoo get plenny bills insai da wallet. Musta had good day playing cards. He pulled out one bunch bills and count out four ones. "You keep da change, boy" he smiled showing yellow toscani stained teeth. "Thanks, Mistah Bolosan," I smile back thinking of the cold bottle of coca cola in da machine wit my name on it!

Da bright red coke machine da size of one icebox with large white or used to be white lettering stood on the side of the station along side two jawbreaker bubble gum dispensers. Cool da coke machine. You put da money insai da slot and open da door. You pull the bottle out and you can hear the whole row of sodas shift and a new bottle slide in the place wea you wen jus pull da udda one out. I hear the soft ffffffffftttt of the cap coming off the top in da bottle opener in front the machine. Oooooh dis going taste soooo ono.....ahhhhh......things do go bedda with coke.....

".....so you going stay in da car or go insai the house, boy?"

"....w-w-what?" I am blinking in the bright sunlight.

"I said you going stay in da car or go insai the house?" my fuddah's voice. I open my eyes and he's standing outside the car looking in at me. "Hurry up, your mother is waiting on us for eat."

I sit up and look around. We stay in the back yard wea my fuddah park his car next to the workshop. My feet search around for my slippahz. My fuddah grumbling about how as soon as the car stay rolling I stay snoozin' already.

I neva did work at Abe Cheveron in Haleiwa, nedda did I work at my second choice Yoshida's by Sea View Inn by the bridge next to Miura store. That wasn't meant to be I guess.

I did learn plenny about cars from my fuddah. Like no run da gas down pass quarter tank cuz all da opala from the bottom of the tank going insai da carbo-rahta. I always carry exta quart oil in da trunk like my fuddah used to. I always carry one roll duc tape jus' in case something broke and no mo tools and I always have puka towel rags in dea too just in case gotta wipe your hands.

Come in handy now cuz no can find true "Service Stations" like before. No get guys run out and check your tires and oil. I think my fuddah was getting me ready for this time in my life. Everytime I go in sai one "Gas Station" now, I say to da guy wit one turban on his head behind da register insai wea get nachos, slurpees, and red bull ..."fillum Mup on numbah 4". I think of my fuddah putting gas at Abe Chevron in Haleiewa. DING DING


About Author

Kamaka Brown was born and raised in Hawaii. Childhood years were spent in Waimea Valley on the North Shore of Oahu. Now a California resident he has not forgotten his Island roots. He is a published author, performs local style comedy at concerts and clubs on the West Coast, Honolulu, Las Vegas and the Pacific Northwest. He is a staff member on AlohaWorld.com

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