When I turned sixteen, my dad gave me my very own Exxon card. With this card I was supposed to get gas; that was it. Instead, I survived on this card. Yes, of course I used it for gas. I also used it for sodas, gum, junk food and more. The card travelled with me from high school to college and eventually landed in Austin with me where I’d just moved into an apartment with my friend, Richard. There it bought beer, cigarettes and the other stuff.
Sidenote: When we moved to Austin, we were broke. Neither of us had jobs immediately and we had a $775 apartment to pay for (hey, it was seventeen years ago; that was a lot of money then). We survived on that Exxon card ala Reality Bites. All meals were gas station meals. There was no way around it. This particular month my bill, which was sent to and paid for by my dad, topped $400.
Naturally, he called me to have a conversation about proper usage of the card.
Me: Hello? (Uhh… remember – no caller ID or I would have screened that shit so fast …)
Dad: I got the Exxon bill.
Me: Oh … Yeah?
Dad: I want you to go and find some scissors.
[Obviously he’s going to tell me to cut my card up. Obviously.]
Dad: Do you have the scissors? Go get some…
[Naturally – I’ll be cutting my card.]
Dad: Now I want you to take the scissors … and gouge your fuckin’ eyeballs out.
… And that was the last day I had the Exxon card.