Posts Tagged blue chip stamps

Don’t Do That!

Back in the day, some gas stations gave out “stamps” with each gas purchase. Customers could save them and exchange them at the Green Stamp store, or Blue Chip Stamp store for some pretty cool stuff.

blue chip stampsI was nineteen, and I’d been working for Roger Robideaux—he was a pretty cool guy—at the Gulf Station for a few weeks, when I noticed a lot of people didn’t want the stamps. I figured it was probably too much trouble; saving them, licking them, and driving all the way into Phoenix to the stamp store. So! I got this fabulous idea; if a customer didn’t want their stamps, I would keep them!

In no time at all I had a mess of Blue Chip stamps, and was off to the Blue Chip Store, where I got an eight-track tape player for my car. This stamp bidness was the bomb!

A week or so later I was sitting in Roger’s office chair, my feet up on his desk, browsing through the Blue Chip catalog, deciding what to get next, when Roger walked in.

He looked at the catalog then looked at me with his head cocked to one side and asked, “When a customer says they don’t want their Blue Chip stamps, what do you do?”

I grinned. “I keep them,” I said, raising the catalog. “You can get neat stuff!”

“Don’t do that!” he barked. He seemed excited, and maybe a little bit mad, but it was hard to tell with Roger.

“How come?” I said.

He did a funny little dancing jig, rolled his eyes and said, “Because I have to pay for the stamps!”

That made no sense at all to my nineteen-year-old brain. “Then why do you give them away?”

He went over and hit the wall with his hand, danced a little more and said, “Just don’t keep them. Okay?”

The bell rang, signaling we had a customer at the gas pumps, so I slapped the Blue Chip catalog onto the desk, gave Roger a little salute—I was kind of a smart aleck sometimes—said, “Got it, chief,” then sauntered out the door.

After I’d filled the customer’s tank, I asked them if they wanted their Blue Chip stamps. The lady said, “I sure do. You can get lots of nice stuff with those stamps.”

I grinned and said, “Yeah, I heard about that.”

I figured Roger was watching me, so when I got to the driver’s window, I made a big show of holding the stamps up where he could see them, handed them to the customer, held my empty hands up for Roger to see, and smiled real big. Did I mention I was a smart aleck sometimes?

Roger smacked himself in the forehead with the palm of his hand then did one of his little dancing fits. Yep, he was a cool guy to work for, ol’ Roger.

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Blue Chip Stamps

In one of my stories about my younger days, Shootin the Breeze With Jimmy, I talk about meeting a famous actor while working at the Gulf gas station in Buckeye, Arizona. While we were visiting my old hometown last year, I noticed the Gulf station was no longer there—actually, a lot of things had changed. Time marches on, I reckon. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (6)

Blue Chip Stamps

In one of my stories about my younger days, Shootin the Breeze With Jimmy, I talk about meeting a famous actor while working at the Gulf gas station in Buckeye, Arizona. While we were visiting my old hometown last year, I noticed the Gulf station was no longer there—actually, a lot of things had changed. Time marches on, I reckon. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

Blue Chip Stamps

In my story, Shootin the Breeze With Jimmy, I mentioned working at the Gulf gas station in Buckeye, Arizona. I was out of high school, and was bouncing around from job to job, trying to find a good one. Good jobs were scarce in the little farm community, and I finally had to move to the big city of Phoenix. At that time—the late sixties/early seventies, the big city on ly had a population of 500,000 or so. It’s grown just a wee bit since then. Read the rest of this entry »

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