When I was fifteen I worked as a cashier at a gas station. Now, this was at a time when a station employee, usually male, would rush out to fill your tank, wash your windows, and check the oil in your car. You then handed him twenty bucks and he ran inside to the cashier, then ran back out with your change.
Yes, you read that right: your change.
I know, I know, I’m dating myself. And we think it’s getting serious.
Anyhow, the common term for the guy who ran out to fill your tank was gas jockey. But gas jockey sounds exactly like the unskilled, minimum-wage job that it was. So most gas jockeys were teenagers who eventually graduated, quit the station, and headed off to college.
But every gas station seemed to have that one jockey who stayed put after limping through high school, assuming he graduated at all. And being a post-teenage gas jockey was a distinct disadvantage when you were at a house party and trying desperately to impress that barely legal bouncy blonde with the big breasts and perky bum. The chances of a gas jockey getting into the panties of that young woman — at least while she was sober — were zero, and so when she asked him what he did for a living, he would reply:
“I’m a petroleum transfer engineer.”
“Wow,” was the usual response, “you’re an engineer? You must be really smart.”
See, words matter. And the right ones might just get you laid.