pain is the staff of life

The British American Petroleum Company (not BP)

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on May 27, 2010

When we were growing up our father had a charge account with BA. This was well before credit cards. A thick rectangular charge pad of BA chits that were perforated down the middle was always at the ready in the glove compartment (when was the last time anybody put gloves in that thing.) He was completely loyal to BA claiming it had excellent gas. Apparently back then some places, but not BA, put water in your tank. After the car was filled up, the station attendant scribbled something on the card then tore off a section which the station kept for billing purposes, returning the pad to our father. When my father was through with the pad that had all the chits removed he let Kate and me play with the ‘nub’ of stapled receipts. But we much preferred to play with the pads that still had the unused chits attached, that way we could scribble something on them then tear along the perforation (best part), separating perfectly good chits from the pad thereby rendering them useless. This was much more satisfying to us but not to our father, especially when we failed to return the BA pad to the glove compartment. Gaby! get me the yardstick!* It’s funny now to read how in 1908 after refining the oil to make electrolene which was the good stuff, the useless residue, little sister gasoline, was dumped in a Toronto swamp adjacent the lake, the location of the BA refinery. Founded by a Canadian who had worked for Standard Oil in Buffalo, it was formed under a province of Ontario charter in 1906 which meant it was still under the purveyance of King Edward VII. It liked to boast that it was a British Company with American standards. Yeah.

*Usually an idle threat as he was so stricken with asthma (later emphysema) we could easily outrun him.


One Response

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  1. White Rose said, on May 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Let us forget that BA/BP/ AAP brought us the Shah of Iran. They were also the dipsticks behind Iraq if my fevered brow is not wrong.

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