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Eat Here, Get Gas

Eat Here, Get Gas by Ada Hasloecher{3:36 minutes to read} When I was a child, we took many family vacations. We were fortunate. My dad owned his own business, and when he needed a break, he and my mom planned little getaways in between longer vacations. Mostly the getaways were extended weekend trips, usually wrapped around school closings and holidays. Most of them were not long-distance ones. Many of them were road trips to places we could get to easily by car in a day or so: Williamsburg in Virginia; the Amish country & Hershey in Pennsylvania; Niagara Falls in upstate New York; an autumnal road trip in late September to Vermont and New Hampshire.

To keep us from getting car sick (my parents were avid smokers in those days), my sisters and I played all those typical road trip games, looking out the back seat window of our Plymouth station wagon. We counted how many different state license plates we saw, sang endless songs, played “I Spy,” and memorized the times table (when I was in the 4th grade).

This was back in the 1960s when there were many more advertising signs on the highways and byways than there are now. Many of them were signs for local establishments hawking everything from the “best fudge” to “whole roasted peanuts” to “you pick it yourself” farm stands. Highway rest areas abounded, diners were the lunch places of choice, and my mom often made her famous fried chicken for picnicking at the scenic overlooks. We have the home movies to prove it.

On one particular trip, as we were driving along, we spotted a local sign touting the fact that there was a restaurant AND gas station up ahead. It simply said: “Eat here, get gas.” Naturally, we all thought this was hysterically funny and couldn’t stop laughing each time we said it out loud (which we did ad nauseam)! Such an oxymoron did not go unnoticed by us kids.

Eat here, get gas. Not an untrue statement but certainly not what the proprietors intended to convey. Perhaps they had limited advertising dollars and wanted to keep things short and sweet. Well, it was short, but certainly not sweet! Not necessarily words you would want to put together in a sentence, funny though it was.

This all came to mind recently when I saw a local advertising banner strewn across a railroad crossing claiming: Get divorced for $99! Really? The court fees alone are $400! Who would possibly believe that you could do a divorce, even an uncontested one, for $99? Of course, it’s a gimmick—a come-on to get some undeserving, unenlightened believer in the door. But shame, shame, shame on the solicitor trying to dupe an unsuspecting John Doe, who likely really needs a cost-effective service to get a divorce. Eat here, get gas. He surely will!

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Ada L. Hasloecher

Divorce Mediator / Center Founder
Divorce & Family Mediation Center, LLC
Phone: 631-585-5210
eMail: Info@DFMCLI.com
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