Gas and TV don’t need to mix

Miriam BaierIt’s no wonder Americans are tired.

Not only do we work longer hours and get less vacation time than our foreign counterparts, now we can’t even be left alone while we’re pumping gas.

Never mind that “back in the day” getting gas only involved driving in to the station, stopping at the pump, telling the attendant how much gas we wanted and then relaxing while it was pumped and our windshield was washed and maybe even our oil and water checked. All without exiting our vehicles. Ahh, those were the days.


Now, televisions are popping up on top of gas pumps across the country, according to an Associated Press article, after their introduction in 2006 at a handful of stations.

We can’t even have some down time with our own thoughts while we’re mindlessly pumping gas and watching the dial rack up mind-boggling fillups? We have to be bombarded 24/7 with displays of something else we “need” or the latest and greatest in headline news for the four minutes we’re there?

Retailers look at the gas TV as revenue producers as if $4-a-gallon gas isn’t cutting it for them. I know, they’re paying more for it, too. But with pay-at-the-pump service (which rocks) they reportedly are seeing a decline in the inside sales of their assorted usually high-priced sundries.

Regardless, I’m sure I don’t need a screen that flips video letting me think how great my life would be if I’d just go inside the supergas mart and get that light-heated breakfast sandwich, or the gallon of soft drink, or that pound of beef jerky, or all three and more.

I already know that.

Just let me have a little peace and quiet at the gas pump, where I know full well the total is going to hurt.

(As if there’s peace and quiet at those supergas marts anyway. Sometimes, they’re busier than a county fair.)

I enjoy TV on a regular basis and can even navigate the remote control (known as the “conk” in my household) with confidence most of the time.

But if they’re going to have those TVs on the pumps, I have one question: Who’s got the conk?

Miriam Baier is the assistant editor of the Examiner and can be reached at 592-3060, ext. 124 or via e-mail at