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Leaving car engine running while at the ATM

Original post made by Asphyxia on Jul 14, 2008

To the woman in scrubs at the Wells Fargo ATM last week:

Ma'am, there is only one reason to leave your car running while you are at the bank, and that is if you are robbing the bank and wish to make a quick getaway.

If you are merely stopping at the ATM, turn off the engine of your convertible Mercedes coupe and spare the air for the rest of us. Clearly, you were not in such a hurry that you couldn't spare the 2 seconds it takes to turn the ignition back on, as you sat in your car for a couple of minutes and sifted through your purse before departing.

You aren't saving gas by leaving the car running -- any car with fuel injection, and certainly a fancy late-model Mercedes, doesn't waste gas when starting up. An idling car wastes a good deal of gas.

If you are merely wishing to flaunt your affluent indifference to the astronomical price of gas, why not do it in a more eco-friendly way? Turn off your car, take the money you just withdrew from the ATM and tear it up into tiny pieces. Then place the bits in a recycling bin.

Comments (6)

Posted by Laughing and crying, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 14, 2008 at 11:41 am

Oh, Asphyxia. You managed to make me laugh in spite of having to think about the rampant mindlessness and stupidity that seem to be the norm in our privileged society. How I wish you were around on Menlo Ave last week when a single occupant of a Yukon/Expedition/LandBruiser-type of gas hog was sitting in her idling bubble while doing god-knows-what for minutes on end, staying very cool I'm sure because the windows were up and the air conditioner had to be sucking up even more fuel. Too much money. Too few brains.


Posted by Rob, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I can't believe you actually took the time to write this.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Considering that India and China are each reportedly bringing a new coal-fired power plant online every week, I think Rob has a point.


Posted by Anna, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Hey, Joe. Yo, Rob. Heat getting to you? Lighten up. Power plants and overpopulation in India and China. Rising death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sinking U.S. economy (oh there I go whining again). These and many more things really trouble me. But it's nice to laugh once in a while. A good point was being made, and humorously enough not to make it sound like a shrill diatribe. Relax and enjoy yourselves a little. OK?


Posted by Resident, a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm

What absolutely amazes me about this story is that someone obviously leaves their car running while they are about their business at the atm and not afraid that someone will get in and drive it away. Opportunist criminals are everywhere and we don't need to give them invitations. If someone else had got into that car and locked the doors there is very little that could have been done to prevent the car from being stolen, even if you had laid down on the hood.


Posted by Reba, a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2008 at 11:09 am

I agree with Anna. Very funny posting. (I could also imagine the police description if the woman happened to be robbing the bank: Police are seeking a woman dressed in hospital scrubs, talking on her cell phone and wearing flawless lipstick, which was applied as she drove.)


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