"Fill 'er up," is an obsolete phrase in most cities. But not in Coquitlam, where a forty-year-old bylaw requires all gas stations (all nine of them) to be full serve.
I like both that old phrase and Coquitlam's full serve gas stations simply because it's a nice option to have. That's it. Anything else is over-thinking the whole thing - we're talking about nine service stations.
When it's sleeting, or the rain is being blown sideways, I like to have the option of driving through Port Moody to Coquitlam, lowering my window two inches and asking the poor sodden attendant to "fill 'er up", before I close the window and retreat to my warm car and CKNW.
My colleague calls the full service bylaw archaic, from the 60's, straight out of "Back to the Future" - Marty McFly and the old Texaco station - "it's like, so 30 years ago."
Maybe. But my support for full service stations is not nostalgic pining for a time when one attendant pumped ethyl for you, one cleaned your windows, one checked your oil and showed you the dipstick, while someone else checked your tire pressure and filled your washer fluid and radiator. No, my support for full service is simpler than such complex reminiscence.
Sometimes I just like to have someone else pump the gas while I sit in the car.
It's like eating at White Spot. Once in a while, I like to have a carhop to bring my triple O hamburger to my car; (albeit on an admittedly archaic tray).
My support for full serve is not because it may create a few minimum wage jobs, though I'm sure that's important to the few who work in them. And it's not because it's safer for women late at night to sit in a locked car than schlepp through the rainy night to find out why the pump wouldn't accept her credit card.
No. It's just that sometimes I like to pump my own gas in Port Moody and sometimes, on those rare days of west coast inclemency - not so much.
And although today's, "jumping to the pump" may be more of a desultory stroll, Coquitlam's full serve stations, archaic as they may be, are simply a warmer and drier option.