As I have noted previously, every place has its oddities and eccentricities unique to its culture. New Mexico is no exception. Here is something I witnessed last week, at a gas station no less (a trend perhaps?), which definitely fits the bill.
It was a hot, sunny, Friday afternoon. The temperature was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the air was dead calm (did I mention it was hot?); I had stopped to get gas. As I stood beside my truck waiting for the fill-up to finish, I was engaged in my usual game of people watching.
Business was light and only a few lanes had customers. Just a couple of lanes away, there was a gentleman in a business suit. His tie was missing, so maybe he was done for the day. He started the fill-up and walked over to the island, where he removed the squeegee from the bucket. Ah, I thought, he’s going to wash his windshield. But, as I have learned over the last 26 years, this is New Mexico: anything can happen. And it did! He bent over and proceeded to wash his shoes with the squeegee. First, he washed his left shoe; then, he washed his right shoe. He stood up and looked over his handiwork, lifting each foot and twisting it around to get a good look. He must have been satisfied because he returned the squeegee to the bucket and walked back to the gas pump.
Yes, you read it here: a gentleman in a business suit washed his dress shoes with the filthy, dirty water and squeegee provided by the gas station. It is impossible to make up stuff like this! Now, I should be charitable and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he had been out hiking the back-country all day (in a business suit and dress shoes) and his shoes were really, really dirty. Or, maybe he was in sales and had been out pounding the pavement all day and he just needed to rinse the dust off. Yeah, that’s it! Surely a gas station squeegee is the perfect solution in those cases. Nah!
As I climbed back into my truck, cranked the AC to full blast, and drove away, I couldn’t help but shake my head and think to myself, “Only in New Mexico.”