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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Leave the pumpin’ to somebody else

Editor’s Notebook: Leave the pumpin’ to somebody else

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Sunday’s toodlin’ took me to Phillipsburg, N.J., by way of Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Frequent or even occasional travelers to Jersey know one of its idiosyncrasies is that self-service gas pumping is illegal. Has been since the late 1940s.

Somebody, usually a teenager, has to come out and do the pumping for you.

For those of us in the other 49 states, it’s weird and a little surreal, kind of like what a Third World country would do to ensure more employment opportunities.


Poor sports editor Dave Facinoli recounts getting yelled at once when he tried to pump his own, having not been hipped in advance to the process.

There have been attempts in recent years to rescind this somewhat archaic state law, but every time, the suggestion of change runs into opposition from Jersey residents. The family members I checked in with on the trip were by and large devotees of having someone else pump the gas for them – which must make it freaky for them when they are elsewhere in the fruited plain, where such service is either not available or pricey, pricey, pricey.

The N.J. part of my journey was only about 6 miles (from the bridge from Pennsylvania border into P’burg, as Phillipsburg is known colloquially, and back again). Even though I probably could have made the trip up down from deeee-emmm-veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee on a single tank of gas, I decided to get some mid-way to be on the safe side – but not in Jersey. I pumped my own in Bethlehem, Pa.

HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE I’VE BEEN AT A MICKEY D’s? To answer that question, I’d say five or six years at least. Nothing personal, Golden Arches folks. Your venues just not on my route to or from anywhere.

But on the aforementioned trip to Jersey, I did indeed stop in Bethlehem, Pa., for gas, but first dropped in on a local Mickey D’s to get lunch.

Holy flippin’ hamburgers, Batman: My Big Mac combo (with regular fries and standard drink) was $9.50. When did THAT happen?

GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN: “DCTRV Dave” Hughes, the chief cook and bottle-washer of the local TV/radio Website dcrtv.com, died in December, but his site remained up, in suspended animation with no additions or deletions, ever since.

Somebody finally pulled the plug, as now when you log on, you get an error message.

I did enjoy the site, but alas there clearly was no succession plan and nobody was willing or able to pick up the mantle and take the site over. Kinda like the kooky Arlington Yuppette, which remains online but hasn’t had an update since October 2020.

– Scott McCaffrey

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