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I parked at the pump, and when an elderly gentleman in overalls and a long white apron came out the front door, he sniffed curiously although he was still 20 feet from the car. Fifteen feet away he made a face and stopped.
"Skunk," I called out.
"Just one?" he said.
"Look, could you bring me out six large cans of tomato juice? I'll help myself to some gas while you get them."
"Only six?" he said.
"Six. And a can opener, too, please."
"They probably ain't going to help much."
"That's O.K. I want to try it."
He backed off a step. "Good idea, son."
It took a few minutes to complete the transaction. He left the juice and opener in a sack by the road, well away from the store, and I left his money there, including a tip. As I drove off I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw him approaching the money cautiously, like a soldier crossing a minefield.