These people just wanted to fill up their cars, but instead got way more than they bargained for!
Drivers on Quora share the experience they had at a gas station they'll never forget. Content has been edited for clarity.
"When I was a young man, I had a part-time second job at a gas station where I worked weekends and the odd evening after my day job. There was this stunningly beautiful young lady that used to frequent the station in her Impala SS convertible. We'll call her 'Karen.' We all came to both know her and, quite frankly, like her a lot. She was a really likable, approachable person. Even though she easily qualified as one of 'the beautiful people,' she was friendly and not the least bit haughty about it.
After a time some of us, who were chatty with the customers, got to know her a little. I ran into her one day at a local ice arena, where I went skating for fun or on a date occasionally.
I was like, 'Hey Karen, how are you? Were you just skating?' And she proceeded to tell me this was her 'home arena.' She went there every day to work out, and had been since she was three years old. We got to talking and I learned she's a finalist to make the 1984 US Winter Olympics Figure Skating Team. She's a world-class figure skater.
This went on for a whole summer, Karen frequenting the station with the top down on her SS and being very chatty. We all became so close to her that, when we clocked in, the question of the day was, 'Has Karen been in?' Then, as instantly as she had first appeared, she disappeared. No one saw her for a long time. We all began to assume that she had moved away.
One of the bits of information that I had learned from her during our chats was where she lived. I drove past her house on my way to and from the station. During the summer, I often saw the Impala in her driveway. After she disappeared, I never saw the Impala again. I told the guys and again, we all assumed that she moved away.
One weekend after many months, I believe it was the following spring, she came into the station, but not in her convertible. She was wearing Jackie-O sunglasses and had a scarf wrapped so thoroughly around her head that nobody could recognize her. I would not have any way, because this girl did not have Karen's personality. When I finished servicing her car, I went to the window for payment, whereupon she said, 'Hello, [my name].'
I looked again and drew a blank. She removed the sunglasses and I was floored. Sure enough, it was Karen. She had the healing remnants of a long scar on her face. She was changed. It was Karen, but it wasn't really.
I told her everyone missed her and asked where she'd been. She told me it was nice of us all. She'd been in a catastrophic auto accident and had been severely injured. For a time, she’d been in a coma. She had missed the Olympics and could no longer skate. I was young then and knew exactly nothing about psychology, but I could tell that she was broken inside. That not only her whole life had changed, but that her mind and heart were broken too. I was certain the Karen we had all known was gone as surely as if she'd moved away.
I have to tell you. No one else working that day knew she had been in. She asked me to not tell them. I planned on adhering to her request, until a lull in business when I was just sitting inside the station looking out the window. I started sobbing, literally. Everyone came over and asked me what was going on. The only thing I could think to tell them was the truth. That was an awful day at work."
"Many years ago, I drove to a nearby gas station and had my tank filled. It was a little icy there, but I managed to navigate out of the station and leave to get some groceries. The store was in the next town and I noticed people were staring at my car but I really didn’t think much of it. After I got my groceries, I qas driving through the downtown section when a man motions for me to pull over so out of curiosity, I do.
He gets down in the slushy roadway and proceeded to pull something out from under my car. Then he asks me if I got gas lately. I was confused and embarrassed over what I might have done, so I said that my husband did. So he shows me what was wrapped around my axel—the very long strip that you drive over that rings a bell inside the gas station! Apparently, when I was leaving, my tire spun on the ice and I pulled the thing right out of the gas pump. Driving down the street, I had an enormous tail dragging from under my car.
Okay, now I am really embarrassed and decide how to handle this with the least embarrassment. So I drive to the gas station with the strip in the back seat and thinking maybe they didn’t notice, I go to the inside of the gas station. I am greeted by the owner who says, 'Lady, my ding dong doesn’t ding dong anymore.'
Busted. I planned on saying someone found this AFTER my husband got gas (yes still blaming him) but he witnessed the whole thing. I said that he should have stopped me and he replied, 'Lady, I chased you down the street for two blocks.' Hanging my head in shame, I apologized and sheepishly went home."
"One day, a young redneck well-known for being a troublemaker and whose name I will withhold was hanging out at a local gas station. This young man was shirtless and sporting a notable mullet (to be fair, they were in fashion at the time, kind of sort of). I suppose he looked quite the sight for some city folks that don’t get much exposure to the natives of southern West Virginia. Apparently - from what was reconstructed after the fact - a solitary man in his mid-thirties filling up a car with an out-of-state license plate took notice of this shirtless young man and stared, ultimately shaking his head in a ‘now I’ve seen everything’ sort of way. This did not sit well with the young man who, by that point, had done a fair bit of day drinking.
There was a line inside at the register, and the out-of-state man was waiting patiently to pay for his gas. The shirtless young man walks into the station, goes down one of the aisles, and picked up a nondescript can of baked beans. He casually strolled up to the line and stood behind the out-of-state man. The shirtless man then tapped the other man on the shoulder. When he turned around, the shirtless man cold-cocked him in the head full force with the can of beans. The out-of-state man dropped like a sack of potatoes and was out cold. Everyone else in line was stunned silent. The shirtless man dropped the can and started to walk out of the station. He turned as he left and said that if the can was damaged, he’d pay for the beans the next time he was in the station. He and his friends packed up their things, hopped on their four-wheelers, and rode off. My memory is a little fuzzy as to what happens after that. I’m sure the police were called, but I don’t believe any arrests were made - the locals, characteristically, didn’t see anything
Just another day in paradise."
"As a young patrolman driving down the highway on a sunny afternoon, a BOLO (Be On the Lookout for) came over the radio with a vehicle and suspect description for a Robbery and Auto Theft that was committed in the next jurisdiction. The suspects were allegedly in the stolen car.
Looking out over the hood of my patrol car, there in front of me was the suspect vehicle and suspects. A perfect match for the description in every way. I called it in and requested backup and was content to follow the vehicle until help arrived. Before they did, however, the suspect vehicle pulled into a busy gas station and up to the gas pump to, I found out later, get gas.
As the vehicle stopped, I now had my flashing lights flashing and was getting out of my car, weapon in hand, and screaming commands to the occupants. Both the driver and passenger had already opened their doors and were exiting the suspect vehicle and thankfully obeyed my commands and stood straight up with their hands in the air behind their individual doors.
From the fueling lane left of the driver and on the other side of the gas pump, an elderly female walked up to the driver (suspect #1) and asked him if everything was all right. I am now screaming commands at the elderly woman, looking at the opportunity of the driver grabbing her as a possible hostage.
The elderly woman then noticed me, the flashing lights, and my screaming to get away from these guys. She gave me a dirty look and walked away. Thank you very much. But we were not done yet.
I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and then observed a teenage female in the gas station uniform exiting the building. This young lady then proceeded to walk over to the suspect vehicle despite my screams to back away, walked up to the passenger side of the vehicle in front of the now-open passenger side door with the other suspect (#2) still standing there with his hands in the air, pulled out a spray bottle and a rag, and proceeded to wash the windshield of the suspect vehicle.
It took several very loud and direct commands to get the young lady to notice me, the flashing lights, etc., and realize that she was probably not in a good place and returned to the office.
Backup arrived shortly thereafter and the suspects were taken into custody without incident. Can’t make this stuff up."
"I was at a gas station that was pretty close to my home one evening, just hanging out with a friend who worked there. This absolutely gorgeous lady pulled up, filled her tank, and started for the register to pay. She grabbed her wallet to get out a credit card to pay when a little wad falls to the ground unnoticed. I can see from where I was it was money and thought I’d be nice and get it for her.
That night, I was pretty scruffy because I’d been working on my car all day and hadn’t been home yet, but I approached her to return her dropped cash. She turned and looked at me with this, 'I smell trash,' look on her face and very snottily said, 'Eww, get away from me, you filthy piece of garbage.'
I said nothing, looked at my buddy who was the attendant and saw all of this. He looked at me and we both shrugged and I walk away. So she pays with her card, gives me one more 'better than you' smirk on her way out, and leaves. That little wad ended up being $280 in $ ’20s and $10’s..thank you very much.
I was told that the next morning she came flying in there (probably on her broomstick), asking if anyone found/turned in any money. Of course, the day attendant had no idea what she was talking about and if anyone HAD found it, it was most likely long gone by now. Well, she’s ranting and raving and wanted to see the security videos(which they flat out said unless she was law enforcement…no) and how she’ll have the cops there, and what kind of place allows this to happen?
Still being arrogant, privileged, not one bit humble she gets in her car and screeches out of there. She never did come back.
In 99.99% of the time, I would have made sure the person got their money back, but this particular woman’s arrogant, self-important, 'look down her nose at me' attitude warranted a large lesson in humility and I hope she learned and changed her attitude."
"I had just turned 17 and my best friend had just turned 18. We had just got done finishing a movie and realized the car's tank was almost empty so we drove across the street to the gas station. My friend goes and fills up the tank and when she was done, we sat in the car for a little to make a decision on our plans for the night. As we were sitting there, I noticed a guy pulling up and get out of his car. I didn’t think much of it until I turned away, and seconds later proceeded to hear a knock at my window.
This man was probably 40 years old knocking on two teenagers' car windows at midnight. Every red flag of course went up in my head, and I had no plan on rolling down my window and every intention to have her drive off. My friend, on the other hand, didn’t have any red flags raise up. Her first instinct was to reach over to my side of the window, and roll down the window to see if she could 'help.'
When the window was rolled, down the man proceeded to ask if we could help go in his car to help find his phone. I was angry my friend was stupid enough to roll down the window, but nervous because now the guy could reach in the car and grab me if he wanted to. With as much anger as I could muster up, I told him no. He kept insisting we help or at the very least give him our phones so he can call it. He proceeded to get closer and closer to the car almost, putting his face in the open window. I kept yelling no at him and proceeded to roll up the window in his face and told him to get bent and to leave us alone.
The guy proceeded to keep yelling at the car until he gave up, stormed off, and left in his car immediately. I then looked at my friend, shaking a bit from that encounter, and got very angry with her. I asked what was wrong with her and why would she do that. She didn’t think the guy would have bad intentions, and I thought it was crazy I had to explain to an 18-year-old a grown man does not ask for help from two teenage girls in the middle of the night. Nothing good ever happens in those situations and we were lucky. It was truly a terrifying situation at that moment and an experience I will never forget."
"This would have been about ten years ago in Brisbane QLD. I drove to work every day as public transport was not an option for me. I had my routine down to a fine art, and it usually only took me a few minutes to fill the tank and pick up a snack and coffee for the drive. I’d do this two or three times a week at the same petrol station.
So there I was filling up my car at the bower, thinking about that sweet cup of java juice to wake me up properly when an old junker commodore sedan rolled in and stopped in a bit of a hurry. I notice what I think is steam coming from the bonnet, and my first thought is a broken radiator.
A fairly rough looking guy jumps out quick, opens the hood, and it’s not steam. His engine is on fire. Flaming engine. Big petrol station. Every Hollywood movie with the enormous firestorm that obliterates bystanders flashed through me in an instant.
The newer petrol stations have nice bright emergency shut-off switches, and I smacked that thing before the staff inside even knew there was a problem. With alarms blaring out, I turn and see the driver has whipped off his shirt and is attempting to beat the flames out with it, just making the situation worse.
There’s a dry chem fire extinguisher, right there, so maybe he’s just acting on adrenaline too and doing the first thing that comes to mind to try and dowse the flames.
As one of the petrol station employees rushed out, I pulled the fire extinguisher, ripped off the pin and taken the two steps necessary to get into position … and the driver stepped in front of me with his hand outstretched as if to stop me.
I could not believe it, but let’s just say I had no problems putting out the fire, those nozzles are wide and the retardant comes out quick. He got covered, but so did the flames.
In the seconds it took for the staff member to arrive, the fire was out, I’ve got some serious adrenaline shakes and the driver turns to me and yelled, 'You idiot, that’s going to ruin my engine.'
With the adrenaline running through me, it was a serious challenge to resist the urge to clock the moron with a nice heavy fire extinguisher. Without a word, I hand the would-be murder weapon to the staff member and moved back to my car to close the petrol cap.
Maybe the staff member saw the look in my eye, because good lad that he is when the moron tries to talk to me again, he gives the junker’s engine another couple of shots with the fire extinguisher and draws the moron’s whiny attention back to him.
I walked in, paid for my petrol, handed over a business card in case they needed a statement and then drove off, caffeine now completely unnecessary to my morning routine."
"I had already fueled up and was sitting in the driver seat of my car so I could gather old receipts, wadded Kleenex, old newspapers, and leaflets to toss them in the garbage can - a bit of clean-up. There was some yelling coming from the convenience store/cashier building, and I could see a man holding what seemed to be a knife at the woman behind the counter. She was screaming and I saw the man go behind the counter and hit her on the head with the butt-end of the knife - she went down like a sack of potatoes, disappearing out of sight.
I started my car with the intention of following this guy, but I made a last-minute decision. He ran towards the lane in front of my car, so I put it in gear, floored it, and drove into him.
Broke his upper femur and pelvis. Another fellow that saw what was happening came running over and offered to help - I asked him to make sure the guy didn’t try to get away. After checking on the cashier, I called 911, she was losing a lot of blood, coming from a big cut centered on the top of her head. Head cuts bleed so much, it was terrifying. I stayed with her while I let the robber scream like a little girl in the lane.
He was charged with one count of robbery with an offensive weapon, one count of disguise with intent, one count of possession of a weapon, and one count of aggravated assault. He had finished his term of probation one week before. As for me, I got a warning from the cops that I shouldn’t do things like that, but rather I should call them to deal with it.
Well, that’s no fun now, is it? And I’m happy to say that there wasn’t even a dent on the front of my car."
"One early afternoon, I found my wife and myself driving a route that I would never have taken previously. That led us to a gas station that I never would have stopped at. It was a grocery store gas station. My wife uses those, but I never use grocery store fuel for some reason. My gas gauge dinged as we were about to pass the station, so I pulled in to fill my tank.
When I was done filling up, I started to drive off and noticed a lady that seemed to be in distress. I told my wife that I was going to stop to see what the problem was. I approached her and asked her what was wrong and asked if I could help. She started crying. Not like fake tears, but like really weeping and sobbing. She said that she had no idea what she was going to do when she pulled into the gas station. She was out of fuel and out of money… and she had just locked her keys in her car.
She had just started to pray for help when I stopped to ask if I could help. Sadly, my first thought was this is a scam, but after a few seconds, I had a very distinct feeling that I was there to help her.
Within a few seconds, I had remembered all of the things that had led me to that spot at that moment, and I no longer had the feeling that it was anything other than destiny.
I filled her gas tank, I found a man that was filling up his car that had a tool and the knowledge to unlock her car in a few seconds to retrieve her keys, offer to pay him, which he refused, and then I gave her a hundred dollar bill that I had in my pocket. She thanked me over and over again and asked if she could hug me, and after a quick hug, we said goodbye.
I can tell you that even if it was a scam, which I don’t believe it was, I got a lot more out of the experience than the lady ever could.
I apologized to my wife for taking so long, and we were on the road again. As we were pulling away, my wife told me, 'That’s one of the reasons that I love you.'
That was a wonderful gas station experience that hopefully, I will never forget."
"One weekend afternoon, I was driving around doing errands. Went to a fabric store, a crafts store, that kind of thing.
Coming up a little side-street that intersects with the big main street, I was nearing the corner when suddenly as if my subconscious were acting on its own (because my mind was just wandering), I slammed on the brakes hard and felt this wave of HORROR pass over me.
For just an instant, I thought — I thought I had hit someone in the crosswalk. A child, maybe a boy, that was a micro-flash. But there was nobody and nothing there. I sat motionless, foot hard on the brake, in the crosswalk, not moving, eyes wide, kind of breathing hard suddenly. Lucky for me nobody was behind me!
Shaking my head at myself, and actually having some humor at the thought, 'Woman drivers!, I continued and made the right turn I was planning and went about my day.
About an hour later, leaving a hardware store, I crossed the parking lot to a gas station to refill my van. It was an oversized RV-van conversion and had a 50-gallon tank, so it took a while. As the gas was (auto-) filling, I was just staring into space when I heard the people on the other side of the gas station exclaiming. I couldn’t see anything because of my huge van. I walked around the van to see what was going on.
They were looking across the street. People were starting to gather. I heard a siren start-up somewhere nearby. A woman, driving, had hit a little boy with her car, he’d been in the crosswalk. She was turning right. She hit him PRECISELY where I slammed on the brakes an hour earlier with that weird impression.
I felt shocked in my gut as if I had truly felt her horror.
I later theorized — looking for some explanation — that perhaps it’s a physics thing. Particles… time… who knows. But you could not have convinced me that my experience was unrelated to hers."