99 Spillihp - Coon Rapids, MN - Part One

Before Four Baggers and Foreclosures, before Wasted Quarter, 201 Proof Television, and way before the Luxury Apartment in the Sky or any other institutions in my life, there was 99 Spillihp...


More accurately, the Phillips 66 gas station on the corner of Hanson Boulevard and Robinson Drive, in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.


Today (April 13, 2018) marks the 25th anniversary of my hire date, with the greatest gas station in the history of the everything ever!


99 Spillihp (I will get to that name) was my place of employment from April 13, 1993 until October 10, 1996. I served a second tour of duty in that building from April 2004 to May 2005. But it wasn't the same, for multiple reasons I'll get into...

What you are about to read is my salute to the Coon Rapids, MN, Phillips 66 Station. The text has been adapted from Wasted Quarter issue #66: Open All Night.


This 100 page book was self published in January 2009, and contains the entire 99 Spillihp story. Don't ask for a copy, they are long sold out! (Though no one ever paid me the $66 cover price tag for a copy...)

Once I started writing Wasted Quarter (in October 1993), I knew that I needed to collect artifacts of the gas station for the book I would inevitably write about it some day. It was one of those projects that you know will happen, it just never takes off until one day you decide to make it happen.

The photo of me standing under the Phillips sign was taken in July 1995. I knew that would eventually become the cover for my Phillips dedicated issue of Wasted Quarter. In the early 2000's, I realized I didn't have enough photographs of 99 Spillihp to pull this project off in the manner I'd envisioned.


During the course of three separate trips to Minnesota from Denver, between 2001-2002, I (and several friends) took a bunch of photos during multiple overnight shift visits. I'd planned this out ahead of time with Karen, we'd show up in the middle of the night when she was working, and she allowed us free access to photograph the property.

That was back in the day where 99 Spillihp was open 24 hours, which ended not long after many of these photos were taken. However, being the middle of the night, we couldn't get much for exterior shots. And being 2001-2002, this was all being done with a cheap 35mm camera and film, instead of a much handier digital camera. In all cases, the film was developed after I'd returned to Denver, so if a needed shot was missed, I was pretty much out of luck.

Especially since the gas station that I spent far too many years of my life working at is no more.

After a steady business decline in the early 2000’s, 99 Spillihp turned into Kath, which then turned US Gas, which then closed it’s doors for good in March 2008.

The vacant building sat for sale until it's demolition in 2010. 


Today, a credit union stands on the grave of 99 Spillihp...

But go away credit union... No one cares about money!

They want to hear about 99 Spillihp! So let's do it!

******

As I said, most of these pictures were taken during 2001-2002. Long after my employment with the company had ended. But 99 Spillihp remained a key location in my life for years after I left the state of Minnesota. Whenever I came back, 99 Spillihp was still the meeting place for my friends and I.

It was quite literally, in the center of the town.

Much as what would have been happening while I was working, John and I were loitering, taking some of the pictures you'll see here, while helping/irritating Karen during her graveyard shift.


Let's start off the festivities with a photo of (R-L) Karen (who managed the station), my father (who would stop by for coffee in the early morning, on his way to work) and Dr. John (my partner in crime for a majority of my 99 Spillihp run). Taken in September 2002.


Maybe we'll fill out a credit card application while hanging tonight? 

I think we all consider ourselves executives...


(99 Spillihp: January 1995) I don't have permission to put this mystery employee's face online...

The first time I worked here, from 1993-1996, the fountain was on the east facing side of the center shelves. Next to the fountain was a stainless steel shelf containing cup lids, napkins and straws. Next to that was the donut case, then the coffee pot and microwave. Under the shelf all of these items rested on was a series of storage cupboards filled with extra cups, coffee packets and filters and a garbage can under the microwave. In between the microwave (where one would heat up their yummy delicious Deli Express sammiches, available in the cooler) was a tray featuring the standard variety of condiments, ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, non-dairy creamer, plastic stir straws and taco sauce.

Opposite this shelf (on the west facing side) was our automotive section; oil, anti-freeze and isopropal alcohol (a huge seller in the winter). At some point after I left in 1996, these were switched around. I’m not sure the reason, but I suspect it had something to do with the fountain being redone. When this was moved inside the store, we switched from individual tanks of CO2 that had to be brought up from the store room. Then you'd switch them out behind the cashier counter. Now it's all done in a large tank, plopped in the center of our cooler.

Again, just a theory.


(99 Spillihp: July 1998) "Call Mr. Plow... That's my name... That name again is Mr. Plow!"

Here you can see the switch of fountain and snacks. Automotive has been moved to the extreme left side of the picture, next to our very small customer sink. Also missing is the dropped-drop ceiling, allowing the advertisement of chips and snacks. Phillips was big with their Striped-Helvetica marketing in the early 1990's. The drop ceiling, wall above the cooler doors and fountain all feature Striped-Helvetica...


(99 Spillihp: September 2002) Dr. John does a little dance for us where Mr. Plow once stood. 

Note the Striped-Helvetica marketing is all gone...

“Aaron, Put the little gums out: Big Red, Juicy...” 

One of my main responsibilities during the graveyard shift was to straighten the retail shelves, or to use an insider term, to “Face the merchandise!” This would mean stocking things like bottles of oil, straightening the chips and candy, etc. Most of the main store merchandise was taken care of by vendors, so all I had to do was make the emptying shelves look fuller, until the vendor showed up to re-stock our supply.


The social hub of 99 Spillihp... Upon entering, this is the place all regulars would gravitate to. Using their refill mug or simply grabbing an ice cup off the sink, my visitors would fill their drink receptacles of choice with any of 8 flavors of soda from our fountain.


Then they would lean on the counter and talk to me, some lighting a cigarette first. 


Karen fills up her 44oz travel mug at the fountain, after stopping in to check on Trav and I hanging out on his shift in July 1998.

Myself, being somewhat of an afficionado of fountain drinks, felt that the variety we offered at 99 Spillihp had the best mixed soda as far as taste and carbonation goes. Plus, our ice was dispensed in tasty little nuggets that were the perfect size for chewing as you drank. Karen regularly tested the mixture using a tube set up to measure (the test vials were kept on a small shelf above the triple sink in the back office) how much syrup was in the water, and took pride in that our sodas weren’t watered down, or over carbonated.

In this picture, you can see an ancient US Bank ATM to Karen's left. This replaced the freezer that we had for a few years. 99 Spillihp had no method of storing frozen goods. Other than a cooler which sold drinks and the other bare necessities (milk, butter and eggs). Our ice was kept in bags outside in a locked chest. That all changed in late 1995,  when corporate decided that we needed to sell ice cream and frozen pizzas. Out was our even more archaic ATM in the corner, and in it’s place a two door cabinet style display freezer was brought in.

This changed my selection of gas station food drastically. Now I wasn’t confined to Deli Express and that’s it. Now if I wanted, I could have a frozen Don Miguel steak and bean burrito or a Klondike Bar while listening to Matty explain how Posh’s latest demo would take them to fame and fortune.

And 99 Spillihp was a much happier place for it.


For actual paying customers, we offered three sizes of plastic cups; 24oz, 32oz or 44oz, any size, your choice. Refills were about half that. But if we liked you, refills were usually free... We didn't bother with the punch card either...


Dr. John models the classic 99 Spillihp loiterer pose... Ice cup full of fountain soda in one hand, lit cigarette in the other. This was back when you could smoke inside the gas station! It was awesome!


Now if any of this sounds interesting and like a fun place to work to you, just dial that catchy little number on the front!

I find it kind of hilarious that even as late as 2000, Phillips was featuring a corded phone as the design element to promote their job line. Obviously it wouldn't be an i-phone any anything, but an image of a cordless would be more appropriate.

But no one could ever accuse that company of behind current with the times...


Well, at least it's toll free... And they don't shut it down at night?

So what is it like to work here?

Of course I was instructed to always keep myself busy when not waiting on customers. If I had nothing to do, I was to spend my time cleaning the store. Not writing or hanging out with friends?

Yeah right...


Well, first you need to sweep the floors...

In addition to sweeping and mopping all 12 square feet of the store, each night, I would give several sections a brief once over with my spray bottle of multi-surface cleaner and several blue (or white) gas station towels. Getting the main surfaces, windows, doors, counters, and sometimes the shelves if I didn’t have to move too much around. If I did have to move stuff around, it really wasn't worth cleaning...


Karen also sweeps the floors...

At least twice a year, Corporate would fly up some representatives to inspect our store. Karen would tell stories of one of them putting on a white glove and wiping his hand on the counter to check for dirt. While preparing for one of these inspections, Karen would often put in several shifts worth of cleaning (usually on third shift), and I would have to help. We would move all the shelves in the store, sweeping and mopping under them, all the merchandise would be dusted and everything would be a big giant pain in the ass.

One of the most disgusting things I’ve seen in my life came while cleaning the drain under the shelf that housed the fountain drinks. A year’s worth of straw wrappers that had washed down the drain lay coated in pop syrup on the drain guard. Resembling foot long greyish brown worms, these slimy things would have to be picked up or else Dick would cry and the world would end or something...


After sweeping, mopping had to occur...

There wasn’t much I had to do as far as the gasoline itself was concerned. Before any shift ended, I was to call Ippississim Tropsnart to give them a gas level reading from our Veeder Root machine in the office. (Unless they called me first!) By pressing a button on the machine on the wall, a ticker tape would spit out telling me the quantity of gallons we had in the underground storage tanks, percentage of water in the fuel and what the temperature was down there. If it was in a certain range, I could count on seeing the gas truck drive in within an hour or so. They would fill us up, then come in and drop off an invoice that I had to put in with all the day’s paperwork for Karen to deal with in the morning.


Either I or Dr. John would make the coffee...

The only other thing I would have to do regarding gas, was to change the sign when the price went up or down. That would be the sign I'm standing under in the first picture. Changing the gas prices involved going out to the store room for applicable large transparent plastic numbers that would be affixed to a long pole with a suction cup on the end. Stick the numbers onto the cup, and hoist them up, to slide into the rails on the sign. Catching the numbers into the slots wasn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if it was raining or overly windy.

The plastic numbers measured roughly 24" x 12", and were about an 1/8" thick. While not heavy persay, that plastic was dense, wind and rain could easily convert one that slipped into


Dr. John demonstrates spraying Windex, as you have to keep the door glass free from fingerprints!

I still have a scar on my left index finger from a number falling off the sign, landing corner first on my finger. Which caused a nice bloody gash. After picking the number back up and a second attempt, it fell again. This time in seemingly slow motion. I tried to dodge the falling digit, but my attempts were for naught, as the plastic number 0 fell again, right into the already open cut on my finger. What are the odds? The second numeral attack opened a gusher on my finger that was all bloody and gross for several days. I see the scar every time I look at my left hand.

And it reminds me of 99 Spillihp...


I'm hardcore!


Karen and Crazy Carl (also a former employee of the 99 Spillihp), converse between the impenetrable barrier that is the BR Package...

Upon moving to the graveyard shift, my responsibilities were a little different. Corporate dictated that I could not go outside during my shift at all. So the fun stuff in the store room and car wash was out, unless Karen was up here doing the books at 1am, so she could sleep in.

Graveyard shift brought a whole new selection of fun things to do, mainly the daily report. This involved running reports off the cash register, car wash machine and Veeder Root (lotto was done differently, but that will be covered later), gathering up all receipts and invoices from the day and counting all of the cigarettes in the store.

For some reason the cigarette count was always difficult for me. Sometimes I would be fairly accurate, sometimes Karen would ask me if I went to Mounds View and counted their inventory instead. I was to count all the cartons housed on the back shelves and multiple by 10. Then I would have to go through and count all the packs on the back wall displays and overhead shelves.

If you’ve ever bought smokes from a gas station and wondered why there is a number written on top of the pack, it’s for inventory. When stocking smokes, you open a carton, line them up and number them from one to ten. Any leftovers on the rack will number from 11 on up. Replace them on the rack lowest number first, then when counting them, you only need to look at the number on the first pack in the row. Add each of them up and you should have a fairly accurate count of how many smokes are in the store.

Of course I was often wrong and Karen would have to redo it in the morning, but it’s not like she had anything else important to do anyways!


One last instance of awesome Striped-Helvetica...

During a reconfiguration of the cooler, very early on in my 99 Spillihp career, this sign was deemed obsolete. It was saved from the trash, then hung in my bedroom for several years...


Dr. John demonstrates the proper method to heat a yummy delicious Chuckwagon sammich...

I'm sure he is still digesting it...

******

One of my biggest and most importantest duties during my shift would be re-stocking the cooler. 


Dr. John demonstrates how to access the 99 Spillihp cooler through a super secret passageway (opening the far left door and pushing the shelves back, would allow access). You didn't even need to play a magic flute!


Once inside, one would find thousands of bottled drinks. Various Pepsi and Coke products, Gatorade, water, milk and fruit juices would all have to placed on the appropriate sliding shelf to ensure cuntstomers could make the drink choice that most fit their needs.


In later days, the cooler was also home to the large CO2 tank seen left-center in this picture. Meaning we no longer had to bring up smaller CO2 tanks up from the store room for the fountain, every other day. That didn’t happen until after I left in 1996 though...


Other things found inside our cooler were boxes of coffee packages, candy back stock and boxes of condiments that I was also responsible for stocking in a tray located under the microwave.

Don't tell anyone, but if you ever get locked out of the BR Package, there is a small lock box hidden in the cooler. It has a combination dial to open it, and a key rests inside that will unlock the BR Package. Don't share this with anybody, but that combination is the letters S - P - I. Pull the cover off, grab the key and you are back safe inside!


Whoa!!! Stop right there Dr. John!

Did you perform your proper warm-up stretches before reaching for that box of non-dairy creamer packets?


And are you wearing YOUR coat for all this cooler stocking that you're doing?

******

And we're not even ready to go outside yet!


Here is longtime friend of Wasted Quarter (and the namer of this blog) Trav, manning the cashier area of 99 Spillihp back in July 1998. 

This photo is pretty accurate to what 99 Spillihp looked like behind the counter in 1998 and 1997 and 1996... And it didn’t look drastically different from what it did in 1993. Thanks Corporate! From left to right: The wall behind the cashier would contain cigarette displays, batteries, chewing tobacco, tree-shaped car air fresheners, work gloves, film, rubbers (but only after April 1995!), Lil' Drug Store, Swisher Sweets, auto fuses and other small gas station merchandise that wasn’t out on the floor. Under that wall was a small storage area where we would keep boxes of oil, a CO2 tank, employee’s personal items and whatever else we felt like.


Like an advertisement for the Butt Face towel!

But with the Butt side brown, how will we know if it's clean?


On the east wall you see a monitor for the security cameras which we didn’t have while I worked there. That countertop was where we kept MY radio, the credit card imprint machine, adding machine and check logs.


I filled up hundreds of these pages over the years...

After it's arrival to 99 Spillihp in the fall of 1993, that’s where all the MN State Lottery equipment was kept as well. The drawers and cupboards on the wall housed spare printer paper for the register, car wash and outside credit card readers.


The old style credit card imprinter used these tickets. They were exclusively for Fleet accounts and when the Comm-Link was down. Next to that, and still under the counter was the place where the fountain bag in the boxes were kept. Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Sprite, along with the compressor which would make loud hissing and clicking noises when someone was filling their sodas.

If you look closely, next to the bag in the boxes, you can see the 99 Spillihp safe. The bottom compartment stored all of our cash and check drops (money would be placed in plastic envelopes, then placed in a metal drop box. This stood about six inches off the counter and had a handle you would pull to open it. The envelope would fall down to the floor inside the safe. Making a safe drop, literally a drop.

Karen would yell at me for putting various non-money things down the safe drop. A big bunch of confetti dropped down into the tube really wrecked her night!

To the immediate right of the safe was the CO2 tank for the fountain. A tank would be sitting there, connected to a hose with dials on it that would be fastened tightly to the top of the bottle of gas with a wrench that had a hexagonal opening on it. Changing the tank would require taking the wrench and loosening the nut (after shutting the valve on the tank of course) and removing it. Pull the old tank away and put a new one on. As it was explained to me way back when I was first hired: "Don’t lose the small washer inside, or you’re fucked."

On the counter, next to the safe drop was the car wash machine and printer. When someone wanted a car wash, we would enter that into this machine and a receipt would print up with a code for the customer to enter in on the keypad in front of the wash door.


The back of the old imprint slips. Those were stored alongside the car wash printer.

To the immediate right of this machine was the open area to interact with the customers. At night the large BR Package window would be pulled closed, sealing us off from the public, with just the sliding metal tray to communicate (very prison like). Under that counter were drawers and cupboards that held other needed supplies for cleaning, keys for locked areas, spare stock for chew and cigars, plastic bags and unused signs. And lots of dust.

Above this counter was all of the cigarette racks, sorted by popularity of brand. Marlboros front and center of course.


The was the old cash register we used until the fall of 2004, when it was finally removed when our system was finally upgraded.

This was used for most of my tenure at 99 Spillihp. A big plastic behemoth with the cash drawer underneath. Ours had set ups for 24 pumps, though we only had eight. Pre-programmed keys for the merchandise categories could be easily accessed by the push of a button, or typed in manually via numbered keys. On top of the register is where we placed credit card slips, and a folder next to the register contained all the day’s paperwork and invoices to be compiled at the end of the day.

In front of the folder is a round container of fingertip moistener, which the the ladies used when touching paper. I never saw any benefit in the stuff and never used it. Though I did piss off a bunch of them when I put black ink in the bottom so everything they touched got black fingerprints on it.

Oh, I did such dickish things...

On the small counter next to that was the receipt printer. A small narrow drawer underneath contained various tools like rusty screwdrivers and bent wrenches that were used for quick fixes around the place. Above the printer was the intercom that I refused to use. In addition to the speakers and microphones above the customers head, there was also an intercom reaching each of the pumps as well as one that reached the car wash so all the people that couldn’t figure out how to use anything on the property, could call and annoy me via single button!


Another picture of an employee whose' face I don't have permission to show... This photo was taken in August 1996 by Benno. Who I haven't introduced yet. So just relax. I'm talking about cashiering now...

Through the window behind Mrs. Employee cashiering on the behemoth register, you can see the older style gas pumps, island card reader, Hanson Blvd and a vague image of an open and bustling Hardees (demolished in 2002), can be seen just under the lottery sign.


And don't you "forget" it!


Living Behind the BR Package

Phillips was deeply anal about their security policies, no more so than the almighty BR Package. As was stressed endlessly during training camp, the BR Package would save my life if there was a robbery, so I must follow all the rules EXACTLY. Or else Armageddon will occur or something.

I was to be locked behind it at all times. Not holding the cashier door open with anything, and using my keys to get in and out. If I am outside the cashier area, cleaning or what-not, I had to have the outside doors locked. This would be done from a switch behind the counter, as I must never put myself in danger of coming in contact with the outside world unprotected.

All night long I would hear the clicking of the door lock as a customer I hadn’t seen would try to enter. I would have to stop what I was doing to go back to the cashier area, lock myself in and flip the switch to let the customer in. Said customer would inevitably give me shit for the store’s policy, and didn’t care when I explained it as such.

Only once was there a situation I was glad all the bullshit was in place. 

One night around 3 in the morning, a customer was being a dick and started punching the glass because I said stuff he didn’t like. I called the cops on him and they picked him up about a block from the store. Turned out he had a small gun in the sleeve of his jacket. But that was the closest the place ever came to getting robbed that I heard of. However, I was asked on an average of four times per shift if the glass was there because we get robbed a lot.

No we don’t... Now here’s your Newports and change...


Dr. John was ecstatic to finally experience what it was like to stand behind the fully armored BR Package.

The glass was fairly soundproof, and made it very difficult to communicate with customers. This would be made worse by the extra loud music I was playing behind the glass with me. I could yell at them so they'd be able to hear me, and I could figure out what they wanted with minimal effort so I didn’t really need to hear them. Most customers would talk in muted tones and mumble anyways. If they wanted to make small talk though, I usually had no clue what they were saying. So I went with generic small talk responses no matter what was being said. It worked, they left.

Karen used to complain to me that I was supposed to use the intercom system they had installed. If I put my foot on the small switch on the floor, the intercom would air my voice to a speaker over their head. This speaker also had a microphone attached so I could hear them clearly. However, leaving that turned on brought a range of feedback. From a low hum to loud high pitched squeaks and pops. I don’t need to hear what any customer has to say that badly. Once Dr. John figured the speaker/intercom thing out, he used to annoy me by yelling things like Nardini Loaner or Chammomille or Mikhail Kravets or whatever catchphrase he was into at the time, really loudly into the speaker. He could also make certain noises under it to cause it to give really irritating feedback.


With the microphone directly above him...

If I was off doing something else and a customer would come in, Karen would come out from the back and start the transaction. Usually a sentence into what the customer was saying she’d yell “Hold On” to the glass and turn the microphone on.

As soon as she’d see me I’d get: “Would you leave the fucking speaker on Aaron!” 

No... No I wont...

Methods of transfer between the BR Package and the outside world was a small sliding aluminum tray built into the counter. It had a round ramp-like surface so money and packs of cigarettes and stuff could fit inside. You would then pull and push it in and out, under the BR Package. People slamming the tray became my biggest pet peeve while working there.

John took a perverse pleasure in playing with the tray on his visits. He often would be flipping penny cup coins at me through the slide tray. Sometimes he could get them to skim up the ramp and start spinning on the counter on my side of the glass. I could see why this fun game entertained him, but drove me insane.


One day, we were issued these buttons, in coordination with some anti-youth smoking initiative. I don't think it was a Phillips thing, since their logo wasn't smeared all over it...


I also don't think it was part of the WE CARD program... 
Who always provided us free handy desk calendars...


But I mostly sold cigarettes to the same people every night... So carding wasn't that big of a deal.

I miss my Wasted Quarter hat...

And that crusty weird donut keychain that was used to access the store room...

******

With the BR Package in full lock down, you felt as if you were living inside an aquarium. Windows on three sides, and a brick wall behind you. There were nights where I felt like I was an animal in a zoo.

While the cashier area was in plain sight of the public, the rarely seen room behind was nearly impossible to view from the front. Beyond what can be seen from the left open office door...


(Photo: July 1998)

Through a door behind the register, you would find the office. Scarcely larger than a walk in closet, the office consisted on a black metal desk with two file drawers on each side and a small drawer in the middle. The computer hard drive sat on the right side with the printer on top of it. The monitor would later hang from an arm attached to the wall, but was set on top of boxes before that. The wall behind the desk was filled with electrical boxes (nearly completely covered by taped on notes and memos) and a small shelf above held books and write offs, amongst other things. More file cabinets and crap related to security would later be added to further clutter up our limited space.


(Photo: June 1996) A photo of the rare F.H. Mike without his trademark Mobil blues... Benno took this picture, and I don't have permission to show his face. But I like the face I made better...

I amuse myself greatly!

To the left of the desk was a phone and Norman Rockwell calendar. Behind F.H. Mike was the door and Veeder Root machine I talked of earlier. Above F.H. Mike was a shelf with spools of paper for the car wash printer, plus old cash register tapes, and other stuff...


Identities obscured to protect our law enforcement officers. 

The CRPD were regular visitors to 99 Spillihp. With the city garages located a few blocks from the station, we were the most convenient stop for cops in the area. Our store had a contract with the city for car washes, they would come in and sign a form, then we’d give them a car wash. We would turn that over to the city for reimbursement. Several cops each night would stop in to use the wash or buy stuff or just check in to see how things were going. Most of them were decent people, and they sometimes had amusing stories to share.

One officer used to come in almost nightly to use our phone. He would sit in the office and follow up on domestic violence cases. I would turn my music down so I could listen in on them. From the office, I would hear him say stuff like: "If I have to come back there tonight, you're going to jail... I mean it... If I come back there tonight, you will go to jail... You will go to jail! That’s right, you will go to jail!" Then he would give me a brief description about that particular case before setting back out on the dark streets of Crapids.


Opposite the desk area was a set of triple sinks that were mainly used as shelves. We didn’t do much food preparation here, so they were essentially useless. Above the sinks and wrapping around to the east wall was three shelves where we stored cartons of cigarettes, paperwork, a first aid kit and other things needed to run a gas station. In the corner was where the mop bucket lived. Housed in a eight inch deep dirty tub, the bucket could be filled from a faucet with a cut off hose, then used to clean the store.

Which was one of the tasks I completed every night, even when I didn’t want to. In the winter when the rugs (coming to us from the LEEF vendor) would fill with melted snow water, we would do our best to drain them in this sink. It didn’t work too well, and winter was always a big mess around the 99 Spillihp. On the wall by the sink was a water filtration system used for the fountain. For as simple as the fountain was, there was pieces of it all over the damn building.


On our 2001 photo shoot, Dr. John was allowed backstage for the first time ever, finally getting to see all of 99 Spillihp. After exiting the employee restroom, he excitedly proclaimed: “This is where you took a shit!”

Yes... Many of them...

Along the north wall of the station was more shelving and pegboard, behind the fax machine on top the security camera monitor. Surplus inventory was jammed any place we could find room for it...


99 Spillihp Employee Restroom, July 1998

Behind that wall and through the door was a very small restroom consisting of a toilet and sink. Above the toilet was the water heater for the store. I always worried was going to fall on me while I was taking a dump.


99 Spillihp Employee Restroom, September 2001

Policy was changed that discouraged smoking in the retail area of the store (after I left in the late 1990's), then frowned upon in the back office (around 2000), leaving the restroom was the only place you could smoke until it was banned inside altogether once Kath took over. This is why you see an ash tray on top of the toilet in both pictures, taken three years apart.

Same ash tray too...


Or you could just grab the 99 Spillihp Polaroid camera and shoot a boredom selfie in the emplyee restroom mirror. As I did back in June 1995...


Behind the door was a series of hooks where Phillips winter coats were stored, and shelves which our cleaning towels sat on (also delivered by LEEF). Beyond various other gas station items, nothing much of note was kept back here.


During a September 2001 visit, I asked Karen if she had any cool new Phillips swag I could look at. (You can tell it was September 2001, check out the plastic flag by the cigarette lighters!) Karen came back with this sales chart, mounted to FoamCore. She didn't know what it was supposed to be, and told me she was hiding it and hoping Corporate wouldn't ask her about it...


Dated letterhead from an envelope...

Back in the mid-1990's, in an effort to scam a few more hours of overtime, I would come in early on Monday nights to do the station’s merchandise ordering through McLane, before my shift started. I wandered around the entire property with the big McLane order book. I had to go through the entire store, cooler, back room stock and store room at the car wash building. Writing down the quantities of what we needed to order that week, as I checked each section. After making my marks in the big McLane order book, I would sit down at the desk with a red laser and scan bar codes from the book of everything we needed.

Once I scanned it all into the machine, I was to call the order center, strap the machine to the receiver of the phone and the high pitched squeals and beeps of an ancient modem would send all the info I scanned to McLane’s distribution center. Wednesday morning, everything I ordered would arrive on a big truck and day shift would have to tag it and put it all away.

While I was home sleeping!

******

Enough of this stuffiness... Let's go outside!


Here is a shot of 99 Spillihp, taken about a half block west on Northdale, back in April 2003. Which also shows the Hanson/Northdale interchange, shortly before a road widening on both angles drastically changed the face of the intersection.

Phillips was a very simple and basic layout for a station. Eight pumps, four on each side, under a canopy, with retail in the middle. Just north and down hill from the pumps and store, was a separate building that housed the car wash, store room and public restrooms. A taller sign faced the highway 10 ramps.

This version of the Phillips station was built in the mid 1980's, replacing an older and much smaller trailer home shaped store, roughly where the car wash building is today. The pumps for the old station were in front, in roughly the same place they are now. Karen talked about the old store a few times.

Not too far from where I live in Englewood, there is an exact copy of 99 Spillihp. It is now a Shell station, but inside and out, it is 99 Spillihp today. Cooler doors, tile, BR Package, fountain, mini sink.... No car wash... This style building was a Phillips template from the mid-1980's. Wish I could remember the name they came up with for this design... They've gotten out of the retail business in recent years, other than licensing the logo. But for decades, millions were spent on researching how to best sell gas and convenience store items in the current market. I worked in their mid-1990's prototype store "Kicks 66" in Littleton, Colorado in 1996-97.


East side of the building, September 2006.

My additional duties varied depending on wether I was working second or third shift at 99 Spillihp. On second shift, I could get a much needed respite from customers, when the part time women showed up around 5pm each afternoon. I would fill my pockets with garbage bags, then go outside and empty each of the garbage cans on the property. One stationed at each pump (for a total of four), one at the vacuum and air pump, one at the entrance of the car wash and the last one down at the RV (Poo) Dump.

All the garbage bags would be deposited in the dumpster shed located at the exit to the car wash. While doing this, I was to pick up any trash thrown around the property. Wandering around the grassy lawn areas and lot, I would have to pick up all sorts of trash either tossed out by our customers, or that blew into the property from Hanson Blvd and Robinson Drive. Usually a quick walk through of the car wash to pick up the trash that would accumulate in there. Quite a bit actually.

After trashes were done, I would then have to refill the windshield washer fluid bins attached to the poles of the canopy, checking each of them to ensure they were stocked with paper towels. There was a large drum of blue liquid in the store room for this. It had a pump on top to pour into a blue watering can that I would go around and fill each of the eight buckets with. This was for cuntstomers to wash their windows while filling up with gas, though a lot of the ingrates used them as trash cans. Once in a while I would have extra fun in getting to swap out old squeegee heads for new ones when they got too ripped up. Additional windshield washer fluid bottles would have to be stocked on the racks just outside the front doors on each side. Before I was done with the outside work, I would have to bring needed supplies from the store room. This would be boxes of oil, tanks of CO2 gas for the fountain, tubes of cups and lids and anything else we needed that was being kept in the narrow cement bunker, just off the car wash.


This little red car parked behind the building means Karen is here! 

Occasionally, I would be assigned extra work in maintaining the outside appearance of the store. If there was a lot of gas and oil stains on the cement, I would have to dump kitty litter on them, then grind it in with my foot and sweep it up. Oddly enough, this removed a great deal of the stain. Sometimes, we would wash the cement drives with something I called the “water broom.” This attached to the hose and was a long stick that ended with two arms coming out the sides with wheels on the end. The two arms stuck out about three feet wide and had a series of nozzles on them. Water would shoot out from each nozzle at a pretty good clip, pushing dirt, rocks and whatever else was on the ground away. This was actually pretty fun to use, and it could keep me away from the register for a good amount of my shift. This obviously could only be done in the Summer. Though it would have been hilarious to turn 99 Spillihp into one giant skating rink with this wonder tool!

In the winter, I would have to shovel sidewalks and around the pumps to keep snow and ice from collecting where customers would need to stand, and remove the Klonkers. The first time Karen told me to remove the Klonkers, I had no idea what she was talking about. Turns out that Klonkers is a word she made up to describe the dirty chunks of snow and ice that collect in a car’s wheel well while driving, that then fall off in front of our pumps.

You know... Klonkers!


The Poo Dump!

Much to my dismay, Benno took the old sign that used to be posted reading: "Dump Station". I saw it in his bedroom once when I was hanging out with him.

Yeah, I really wanted that... 

On the east side of the parking lot was the RV (Poo) Dump. Old people from all over the metro area would come to our gas station to unloaded their camper’s worth of poo. For a nominal fee (much cheaper than any RV Retailers charged to take on the waste), one could empty their tank here, and wash it off with a pump and hose set up. A lot of times they were decent about it, but of course you are going to have people leaving their shit all over the place.

Literally... 


Shortly after running the Blueberry Honksicle through the 99 Spillihp Car Wash, September 2001.

The "Please Pay Before Pumping Gas" magnet affixed to the door of my car used to be placed on the gas pumps at night, if we wanted to go through the effort and hassle of making the graveyard shift pre-pay only.

We didn't.

Karen gave me one of the magnets on this night. It was then stuck to the fridge at Kenyon, and my storage chest TV stand out here today.

The Blueberry Honksicle is another story... The little 1998 Ford Escort that I purchased used in April 2000, is still in my possession, but will not be returning to Minnesota. It's a little beat up, and needs more work than it's worth, but I still have it! For now...

Only 139,700 miles!

******


Directly behind 99 Spillihp is a second building, almost as large. Most of this is taken up by the car wash. With garage doors on both sides, and a regular door on the north wall for employees to access. Cars would enter on the west, and exit through the east.


The car wash itself when I started was one of the old style bright blue “spinning bristles of doom” machines that would scratch the paint and cause whining customers to come inside to complain just as soon as their cycle had ended. Which happened all the time as we used to give out free basic car washes to anyone who purchased 8 gallons. Or less if they whined a lot, or we knew them. This was the thing that made me hate it the most. Every person felt so damn entitled about their free car wash, they were rude and pushy over it. Which gets really old after 8 straight hours, 5 days a week.

Our car wash sucked so we pretty much had to give it away for free. 

And I’m not making enough money working here to deal with you... 


This lasted over a year in my employment before the biggest news in all the land hit... 

99 Spillihp was going to a “Touchless” wash!

OHMYGODOHMYGODTOUCHLESSCARWASHOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!

You’d swear that we just gave each and every one of the unwashed masses a brand new car with the way they reacted to that news. But there was a down side... After a brief introductory period, the free car wash would be eliminated altogether.

Ha! Take that! 


With the free wash eliminated, us employees would have now to dial up a Fleet wash. 

But it was still free for us!


And ours came with a dry... You never got that with any old free wash!

Still years later, I had to deal with people bitching at me because we no longer were giving our service away for free. Never considering that we are in the business to make money... Water, soap, wax and electricity to run the damn thing are not free.

Karen used to yell at me for complaining about the free car wash. Her argument being that people that normally wouldn’t come here, are doing so because we have the free car wash. So it’s a promotional tool to increase business. While I see her point, I counter that with my point that I’m paid the same if I have 50 cuntstomers a shift or 500.

Personally, I don’t want to see 500 people in a day, so I like having less business. If they were decent that would be one thing, but I want 95% of all people who walk through my doors to cease existing. I don’t want to hear whining. I don’t want to hear them bitch at me when the car wash damages their SUV, when the signs clearly state that we are not responsible for anything. I don’t want to hear them calling me on the intercom to ask me why their code that expired two months earlier doesn’t work. I don’t want to walk down there to help them figure out how to operate it. I don’t want to clean up your mess....


Wait! Actually I do...

And I Get to Clean it Too?!


One of my additional responsibilities on the graveyard shift was to clean the car wash once a week. Usually this would account for an hour or so where I could be outside of the store, not dealing with customers. Karen would come up and watch the cash register, cigarettes and Chuckwagons while I would put on some waterproof boots and hide in the back building for a while.

Mostly there would be a lot of dirt and small rocks I had to clean up, along with lots of garbage: dead leaves, pop cans, candy wrappers and used condoms -not purchased in the store until 1995 obviously. I guess the deluxe wash takes a while, which could be enough time for a quickie, then simply chuck the results out the window. That idea seemed fair to me.

Mixed in with the various other garbage I’d find, our car wash also liked to rip pieces off customers cars and trucks. You would always find chunks of vehicle trim, plastic bug shields, mirrors, license plate covers. And after 9-11, all sorts of “Support our Troops” ribbon magnets!


Even cleaning it once a week, there was always a lot of stuff on the floor that needed to be cleaned up. After we started charging for people to use the car wash, less cars went through each day. Making the floor less full of dirt and the wash easier to clean, though I still took plenty of time to do it because that way I didn’t have to be inside with the customers. When we would give car washes away, and especially during the winter, the floor of the car wash building would fill up several inches deep with dirt. I would first shovel it from the floor and deposit it into the drain in the middle of the wash. When the bulk of the dirt was shoveled away, I then took a hose mounted to the wall and sprayed water to wash all the leftover dirt down the drain, into a storage tank underneath the car wash. This would need to pumped out once every three months or so, otherwise the building would flood and we’d have a big mess to deal with.


When I first started cleaning the wash, the hose didn’t have a decent nozzle on it. In order to push the dirt into the center of the floor, you would have to hold your thumb over the end. Which would freeze the end of your thumb and really suck after a few minutes. Soon, I found if you kinked the hose just right, it would shoot water out in a powerful jet that would fan out in a way that pushed large quantities of dirt away really quickly (as opposed to the powerless trickle that hose was usually capable of.). This trick was very useful, but it often took several kinking attempts to get it right. Dr. John once got yelled at by me for re-kinking the hose while I was using it.

Ranking near the top of the list of things he makes fun of me for saying: “Dammit John, you ruined it when I finally had a good stream...”


And you can pee in here too!

Depending on how much time I wanted to kill, I could really milk the wash for quite a while. After all, getting every last speck of dirt from cracked cement, under the gratings, pipes, and machine tracks, then around the wash machine itself can take a great deal of time. A little dirt always seems to wash right back into the area you just cleaned, so that means you have to clean it again! Maybe you want to sit down on the rail for a few minutes to regroup and come up with a new attack plan. Might want to take a pee break and wash one specific part of the wall with warm water. Perhaps smoke a cigarette as you plot your next move? Either way, this job could probably be done in about 45 minutes if you tried. But two hours sounds like a much better idea.

Think of all the whiney customers I’m avoiding down here! 

Much as I did with the gas station ordering, I started using the car wash as an excuse to build extra overtime. During my tenure at the 99, I cleaned not only our car wash, but the one at Mounds View, then in later years at Round Lake.


Outside the building were the standard drive up vacuum and trash can combos for customers to detail their entire car in out parking lot. Which happened often...

The Storeroom was accessible by key in the drawer next to the register, on a large dried up rubber hoop keychain. Karen put the key on something bulky so you wouldn’t take it home in your pocket. As all employees tended to do periodically, myself included.


The Storeroom was a long narrow room, going three-quarters the length of the car wash building, with the restrooms taking up the other quarter. (The Men's room was directly behind the cinder blocks behind all the pipes and tanks of car wash chemicals) When you entered the storeroom, a brick wall was six feet in front of you. To your left was a series of tanks, pumps and machines for the car wash.

On your right was floor to ceiling metal shelves, stocked with oil boxes, spare numbers for the gas sign, cup and lids for the cups, tools and boxes of 99 Spillihp paperwork and receipts.


Here is a photo of Dr. John getting fountain cups from the storeroom to bring up to the station.

99 Spillihp featured a men's and a women's customer restrooms, on the west end of the car wash building. Seems like I would have to answer the same question: “Key is on the end of the counter, it’s on the car wash building...”

Yet, they could never find it... 

At least one in ten customers would soon be seen walking around the building in the opposite direction I pointed. Then come back in and ask me a second time... We had the standard men’s and women’s room, single stall and a sink. Mirror with graffiti and walls with the same. Floors with urine and worse stains, etc.

Yup, it was your standard gas station restroom. 

Here’s some photos of Dr. John and I toilet papering the 99 Spillihp women’s room back in September 2002...




That was really fun!

Karen even had to admit it was funny!

******

From nearly day one with the company, I was at odds with their dress code. In May 2006, this edict came down from Corporate. I was handed a printed out copy, as I violated multiple angles of dress code during every shift. I don't know that they were talking about me, but don't know that they weren't talking about me either...


But I've never done the backwards baseball cap...

I'm sorry, we just don't share the same view and interpretation of The Pacesetter Look!

That was the name the geniuses in the corporate offices came up with for our uniforms. To the clowns in marketing, setting the pace means to outfit the retail workers in horrifying shit brown polyester pants! Not made of denim or a canvas like material, but tight, thin stretchy slacks that rode up in the crotch and ass. Not flattering to say the least. For a retail uniform, the red pinstriped shirt wasn’t so bad. It was button up and fit the style of shirts I usually wore. Topping the uniform off was a red Phillips windbreaker on top of the shirt. By the end of 1994, Phillips decided to let us wear our own black jeans if we so chose. I’m thinking they realized the cost of buying all of these pants outweighed the humiliation they were able to force upon us.


Here's me, not looking very pace-settery in January 1995. I do look tired...

My favorite part of The Pacesetter Look was the Phillips 66 regulation steel toe shoes. Which looked like your average tennis shoe, save for the large Phillips 66 logo on the tongue and embroidered on the side. They were damn comfy and your feet were protected enough that you could kick anything or drop stuff on them and it didn’t matter. One of my favorite tricks was to stick my foot under a car pulling away from the pumps and having it ride over my foot. This would always freak out the driver and make me laugh. Since day one at Phillips, I lived in these shoes. Just before they discontinued the shoe program, the company offered a pair of Phillips 66 Cross Trainers, so Karen ordered me a pair. They were even more comfortable than the standard issue. Still with the steel toe and large 66 logo tongue, but with added silver highlights on the top and sides!


One of my favorite photos ever taken with the camera was the “Dead Phillips 66 Employee” I made out of spare uniforms, found laying around the 99 Spillihp. Grabbing an extra pair of standard Phillips 66 brown polyester pants, a spare shirt, an old pair of Phillips 66 regulation steel toe tennis shoes, and one Phillips 66 red jacket. I later put a case of oil over where the head would be (implying a case of oil smashed the employee’s head).

After I moved to Denver, the uniform was changed to some really awful aqua blue polo shirts. Button up (skull crushing) teal ones and black jackets were still available, which is what I wore out here. You were still allowed to wear your own black jeans (and they better not be faded or have a hole in them!), but I would never be able to replace that awesome pair of Phillips 66 Cross Trainers that were lost in the move.


Leon was the regional manager in charge of all of the Phillips 66’s in the greater Minneapolis area (Area 50), and would drop by unannounced during my shifts. This man was an incredible corporate guy, everything was straightforward and by the book. I’d run into him an average of once a month or so, and hated those times worse than anything. He’d constantly be up in my ass about wearing earrings or my lack of desire for shaving when I worked. He’d even send his son Chad in to buy gas early in the morning to “check up on me.” I’d always hear something about it the next day from Karen. To the point where I'd be warned in advance in they were aware Leon was in the area.


Yeah well... I’m here ain’t I? 

When Brad and I were writing the pilot episode of My Buddie, and the issue of naming the episode's villain came up, I immediately decided he should be named Leon. In honor of the guy who was an uptight pain in the ass to me, under the guise of POLICY...

******

On a related note, I've got just one more story to cover before I wrap up 99 Spillihp Part 1. 

And that story is key to understanding where Part 2 goes. 

That last story for today is simply known to me as: 

October 6, 1993: The Birf of Wasted Quarter.

I moved to the graveyard shift, in the Summer of 1993. Each night, there was a period of about half my shift where customer appearances would be few and far between, giving me a lot of down time. Even after doing my required cleaning, I was still pretty bored most of this time. Though I quite often had visitors, I also had long stretches where it was just me alone. I would spend that time either reading, or staring blankly until I decided to start writing again.

But I didn’t know what to write about... My high school journals ended close to a year ago, and all of that was pointless stupid crap anyways. Randomly, I’d been throwing down ideas as they came to me, sometimes I’d expand on them later. One night, I decided that I should write a newsletter to sarcastically update my non-fans about all the non-goings on in my life.


The first issue of (what would end up being) Wasted Quarter was written in about 20 minutes on a single sheet of notebook paper, while sitting on the stool and leaning on the counter by the safe drop. I ran off ten copies at my bank, for a dime each, on the way home from work.


(From Wasted Quarter issue #4)

The next night, I sold them for 25 cents a piece to the regulars. I never intended to write any further issues. This was a joke, made out of boredom. However, the first issue created demand for a second, and so on and so on.


(From Wasted Quarter issue #8)

One of my feature stories in the first issue was titled: “Aaron Gets A Raise.” My six month anniversary at 99 Spillihp came in September, granting me a positive Employee Appraisal and a pay raise of 25 cents. This brought me up to $5.25 per hour! While working the overnight shift, I made an additional 20 cents per hour shift differential, making my wages a -then- whopping $5.45 an hour! Life was GRAND!!!


(From Wasted Quarter issue #9)

Subsequent issues would be mainly copied at the Brooks a few blocks north of 99 Spillihp. They had a machine that gave self service copies for 3 cents a page (it would be raised to a nickel in mid 1995). The best part being you didn’t have to stand there and pump quarters in, they kept track of it at the register. One could make a significant pile of Wasted Quarters, purchase a copy of USA Today’s Baseball Weekly and a cherry Icee on the way to work, and not be inconvenienced at all. And it was cheap!


(From Wasted Quarter issue #10)

Once things settled down at 99 Spillihp business-wise, I could set up the pages for collation on the triple sinks, then staple away before Dr. John or Matty showed up to hang out for the next 3-5 hours.

I loved those nights...


Brooks had a stamp-based customer incentive program for a while. 

99 Spillihp never did... And I’m glad for that.


Dr. John poses with a copy of Wasted Quarter 12, at 99 Spillihp, January 1995.

To get in on the fun, fellow 201 Proof Television co-star Freelance Dan became Wasted Quarter's first official cartoonist. One of his first submissions were these quick sketches, inspired by events witnessed while hanging out with me during the overnight shift:







Let me explain "The Target Girl".

One night during my shift, a girl I found to be rather attractive came in and bought some stuff. She was wearing a Target uniform, and had obviously just gotten off work. Not long after that, Freelance Dan and Matty stopped in and I was telling them about her. Even though we didn’t speak besides her transaction, we shared some “meaningful eye contact.” I told them that I was even going to start shopping at Target...

Freelance Dan countered with “But Target doesn’t carry BL...” 

Good point, but they should!

Today Freelance Dan is simply known as Danno. He and Matt run The Wayne Gayle Variety Hour Podcast. Which is a semi-weekly podcast covering movies... TV... Pop Culture... Stuff I'm not into, but enjoy listening to because of the chemistry and presentation. Hearing them talk about stuff I don't follow reminds me of nearly every night some 25 years ago. Hanging out with them, understanding very little of what they're talking about.

But it's highly entertaining, so whatever!

******

In May-June of 1994, I briefly left 99 Spillihp in the pursuits of riches in the field of venetian blind making and metal chunk cutting. But that kind of work wasn't for me, and the pay was worse when travel was accounted for. So I returned to my comfortable graveyard post at 99 Spillihp.


When I returned in June 1994, it was a completely different store. The two chicks that I didn’t get along well with were now gone. A bevy of part time help was hired to replace them, and most drastic, beloved manager Karen stepped down from running the show. Corporate sent us a new store manager, transferring up from the Kansas City region. Upon his first day, the guy was a complete asshole to everyone, customer and employee alike. I was able to stay clear of him for the most part by working nights, but he would bitch at me every morning when he came in that I didn’t do enough work and the store was filthy. But I can -and did- ignore that... Within hours of arrival, he was openly hated by the rest of the employees there as well. No matter who I was working with, they all shared the same complaints about him...

He was a creepy gross angry man.

Soon, I started to hear more rumors about him. A few of the women working there said he was “touching the merchandise” so to speak. One morning, the new first shift girl told me that he grabbed her boob the morning before. Since he was a real dick to me and everybody else, I told her to turn him in. She called the regional training manager, who immediately showed up to our store, and took her to a different store. Corporate flew up the region heads from Oklahoma that evening, and the next morning all employees were to meet with them one on one for interviews.

The next day, we received word that Tony was no longer our store manager. That all happened unbelievably quick... We never heard anything about what happened to the guy, but Karen was temporarily back to covering the management responsibilities until a replacement manager was found.

Obviously a big story going on at the time, I got a lot of mileage out of the subject of Tony. I wrote several articles in early Wasted about it, and it became a local pop culture reference among my friends. Even becoming a sketch on the August 18th, 1994 episode of 201 Proof Television!

(Though it really should have been a puppet show...)

In my mind he got what he deserved. He treated his employees like shit, so within a few weeks, we got rid of him. Good on us!

One night, after he was gone, Karen asked me if I really believed that he did what she accused.

My response was, “I don’t care, he’s gone.”

Later, I thought about how she wasn’t exactly the most credible source, but the other female employees kept telling me stories of perverted things he would say to them all the time. Karen included. While I was happy he was gone, I’ve since wondered if he was rightly fired, or if the power of the store ganging up on him took his job away out of revenge.

Still, he was a tool and now he’s gone. Makes for a great story in Wasted Quarter right? Without giving thought to possible consequences, I wrote an article trashing and childishly slandering Tony for what I perceived him to be. One of my co-workers left a copy in the drawer, Leon saw it a few days later when he was looking for credit card slips. Karen gave me a warning when I came in for my shift that night.

“Leon found this (WQ8), and will be in bright and early to talk to you about it!” 

Sure enough, at 6:45 the next morning, Leon pulls up and enters the station. He tells me that he needs to talk with me as soon as my first shift replacement comes in, then closes the door to the office behind him. Twenty minutes later, I’m now in the office with Leon. “I found some interesting papers here the other day...” He pulls the copy of WQ8 from his briefcase and shows it to me. “Explain to me what this is...”

After getting a nice dressing down over how I’m disclosing company secrets and how this could get the company sued, I tried to defend myself: “I didn’t mention his name, so it’s not slander! It’s not even illegal!” Yeah well, I did however mention the company’s name, which they didn’t like one bit... He also presented a pretty good case for my guilt of “distributing literature in the workplace.” Leon also told me flat out that I was lucky I wasn’t going to get fired for this. He also expressed concern that I was using company time and materials to produce my newsletter, Something he just wasn’t going to allow in the future...

After a particularly uncomfortable ass chewing, I was given a proverbial slap on the wrist. I was told that I couldn’t have Wasted Quarter seen at my job, I was not to work on it while there and I was to not write anything about my working at Phillips 66 Petroleum Company.

Sounds like a good deal to me chief... I told him I wouldn’t do it again. But how could he know that what I was writing in my notebooks was or wasn’t for Wasted Quarter? So how could he enforce this new law? I was never told “there is to be no writing while being employed by Phillips.” Hell, the bulk of the first 26 issues were written on that very counter top.. And a couple more a few years later...


This was placed in my employee file after this incident.

From that point forward, I was not allowed to say “Phillips 66” in an issue of Wasted Quarter. This meant I had to run out and get a new job for reference sake. Captain Honkass would simply be working for 99 Spillihp from now on. I made this proclamation in Wasted Quarter 10 (printed November 1994), in an early article that I really liked. Here is that reprinted as it was:

In Apology To Nothing by Aaron

A while back (in WQ8) I said some stuff about something. I shouldn’t have. This glaring error was pointed out to me by several people that cannot be named here. Nor will they ever be named in a future issue of Wasted Quarter. See, I have given my word that I will no longer name my place of employment in a WQ. So from here on out, I work at a convenience store named 99 Spillihp. As to be 100% politically correct, I no longer wish to hurt the feelings of former and current employees. So There.


This seemed to work for me in real life. No one ever hassled me for Wasted Quarter after my slight career change, and I wasn’t putting the company’s reputation at risk.

Until they read my blog that is...

******

And I feel this is as good of spot as any to chop this piece in half. 

I will be back soon with part 2, concentrating a bit more on the zany antics side of 99 Spillihp!


99 Spillihp Part 2...

Coming soon!

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