I read the notice with exasperation.

Fortunately, I already have some petrol. But it will not last me forever. I point out to the petrol station man that I have read his notice and that it will cause me inconvenience. The next-nearest petrol station is one of the new ones where you have to work the pump yourself, and it is not nearly so handy. I want the petrol station back!!!

He is apologetic. There are new health and safety and environmental rules for his petrol station, and he can’t afford to make the health and safety and environmental changes required. So he has to stop selling petrol.

It is annoying. As far as I can recall, the petrol station has worked reasonably well up to now. There have been no gigantic explosions, no balls of fire, no coachloads of pensioners overcome by fumes. No rivers of petroleum have been seen running down the hill towards Spar, no cars have spontaneously combusted, there have been no instances of Al-Qaida stealing unleaded to use in home-made suicide bombs. Gaseous and noxious clouds have not escaped to cause flash fires or to send people mad and murdery like in the James Herbert book ‘The Fog’; my eyes do not stream with yellow goo when I pull in there; I have not grown an extra arm; my penis has not shrunk and my head remains a normal size. Wildlife flourishes locally; children play in a frolicksome manner in local gardens; there have been no reports of higher-than average radiation sickness amongst adults 18-35 within a five mile radius; the ozone above the forecourt seems no less layered than it is above any other area of Britain.

Still, I am sure there is a reason.

I drive home anxiously. I have been living with a time bomb on my doorstep for some years, without even knowing it. It is now a twelve-mile round trip if I need to buy petrol, but this is a small price to pay to save the environment and to be healthy and safe.

23 thoughts on “The petrol station has closed!!!

  1. You could try storing petrol around the house, eg in old orange squash bottles, washing-up bowls, the bath etc.

  2. Fanto says:

    I reckon it’s probably bird flu that’s closed the petrol station.

    Yep, definitely bird flu.

  3. Dickie "Touch" Tingles says:

    Morning, old boy. Or, in addition to Salvadore’s cunning suggestion, you could drink as much petrol as you could possibly stomach on one of your round trips so that whenever you needed a refill in your car you could just pop out and wee into the hole. This would also have the benefit of helping to jumpstart your roaring fire in the evening AND would save you the long walk to the bathroom. Although you would need to be careful if you needed to seek relief into a hedge one dark evening – you would first need to ensure that Short Tony or someone else of similar stature (a neighbourhoodie, perhaps) was not sneaking a crafty pipe or cigar while hiding from the memsahib.

    I’m just full of good ideas today. Sorry I couldn’t stop myself in time.

    By the way, old boy, I, too, greatly appreciated the description of Stephen Fry regarding burgulars or other such unwelcome visitors in the other story. Wonderfully descriptive and I can see his face as I speak.

    Cheerio! Dickie.

  4. mb says:

    ‘Rivers of petroleum running towards Spar’

    Was that the first draft of Enoch Powell’s speech?

  5. my penis has not shrunk

    Like anyone could tell the difference. Poor Jonny. Can’t fill anyone’s tank…

  6. Eliza says:

    my local petrol station in norfolk closed a year ago. it takes me half a tank to get to the nearest tesco to fill up… plebs.

  7. Lisa says:

    It is a worldwide conspiracy! The local gas station in my village has closed too! I think you need to write a new song. This one will have global appeal, with lyrics like “I believe the local petrol/gas stations are our future…”

  8. john.g. says:

    Global warming, save the planet, health and safety…….bollocks!!

  9. Pat says:

    Maybe its time to pen another ditty Jonny. it worked with the P.O.
    P.S. Glad your bits aren’t affected, as is – no doubt – LTLP.

  10. Miss T says:

    I myself find it a great relief to know your penis has not shrunk.

  11. flintlock tom says:

    “…my head remains a normal size.”

    Oh, please.

  12. NAGA - Life Coach To The Stars says:

    Damn and blast it. I was just about to mention the size of your head. And now I can’t.

    May I suggest you make haste to CartsRus, before there’s a run on the Norfolk Cart? Not that you might actually ‘run’ on a Norfolk Cart. But you can definitely sit upon one.

    The engine makes for less lawn cutting, while adding a very natural ingredient to the compost heap. Your Chickens will be as happy as a pig in shite. Though somewhat smaller, and with more feathers.

  13. spazmo says:

    You people scoff, but “The Fog” was quite an alarming read.

    I, for one, am glad people are finally taking Mr. Herbert’s perfectly plausible scenario seriously.

  14. Tim says:

    Can you smell petrol? I think I can smell petrol. Are you sure you can’t smell that?
    I’ll just go and switch the lights on to see if I can find where’s its coming from.
    I can definitely smell petrol.

  15. Sewmouse says:

    Perhaps you need a zebra car:


    I know a place that sells them…

  16. we haven’t a village petrol station, but i feel it might have been handy. *sigh*

    ‘The Fog’ was very scary, especially when used as an introduction to sex education on a school trip to France …

  17. The Inkless Thinker says:

    Get it from the neighbours with a large piece of piping and some excellent suction.

    After they have mistaken your request for a colonic, they might be pleased to give you some spare petrol.

  18. sablonneuse says:

    You don’t know how lucky you are to have had someone put it in for you for so long. Now you’ll have to join the rest of us and do it yourself.

  19. re the above comment, I got my name wrong, so sorry….

    Get it from the neighbours with a large piece of piping and some excellent suction.

    After they have mistaken your request for a colonic, they might be pleased to give you some spare petrol.

  20. Jenny says:

    Time for Santa to bring you a Scooter?

  21. guyana-gyal says:

    I thought you were going to launch another campaign with that mighty paragraph.

    And all we get is a little whimper: ‘Still, I am sure there is a reason’.

  22. Most of our local petrol staions seem to be closed at the moment. Mainly because none of them curently seem to have any petrol. I’d find this amusing, as my car uses diesel rather than petrol, but they haven’t got any diesel either.

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