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Made you look! Man behind sign uses humor to catch customers’ attention

By Paul Harris

Jason Wiedenmeyer might be the funniest man behind a gas station counter.

The 39-year old, who mainly works the weekend graveyard shift, is one of three men behind the funny marquees at the Dara’s Fast Lane, located at 1102 Laramie Street. Some of the marquees have even found their way on Internet blogs and have made Wiedenmeyer a local celebrity.

“I’ll have people come across town to see,” he said.

Wiedenmyer, who has worked at the gas station for the last two years, said ideas will pop into his head at work, or he will sometimes brainstorm with the other employees to come up with creative sign phrases.

The phrases are then written down in to a green notebook titled, “Feed me sign ideas” or “Big Book of Funnies.” As of now, the book has 20 pages filled with creative sign ideas.  To keep from past ideas from being used, an asterisk is placed next to a phrase that has already been on the marquee.

Employees use different humor styles. Wiedenmeyer’s humor is situational, while another employee’s is more subtle.

“He doesn’t necessarily want you to laugh; he wants you to think,” Wiedenmeyer said.

Sometimes the signs will use a movie quote, product names, or employees to create a rise of out of passer-bys.

One of the marquees read, “Resistance is futile,” a popular phrase from Star Trek.

At one point, the marquee located closest to the road read, “Eyes straight.”

Even though people have complained about the signs, Wiedenmeyer said he has never heard a complaint from his boss.

“It’s a light-hearted theme, even when we poke fun at certain groups like sororities or fraternities,” he said.

Because the gas station is in Aggieville and is the last stop for many drunken students, employees have tossed around the idea of putting up a phrase of the night.

The phrase would relate to something a customer said.

Wiedenmeyer, who usually works the graveyard shift on the weekend, said he has observed his fair share of drunken debauchery.

Wiedenmeyer recalled one night when he found a tennis ball in the men’s bathroom and boxer shorts in the women’s bathroom. The gas station attendee gets his revenge with his humor.

“I like messing with all of the drunk people.”

After two years on the job, Wiedenmeyer has a number of regular customers.

“If see them pull up, I’ll go and grab their usual items,” he said.

People are surprised that I do that, but Wiedenmeyer said he understands that people need to get in and out.

Sometimes his regular customers will stay and chat; other times, they will be on the run.

One post even poked fun at the regular customers: “If you’ve been here more than three times today, then you might be an employee.”

Employees try to change the sign every two weeks, tending to it around 2:30 a.m.

On Monday, one of the marquees read, “New pizzas starting with T & D. A mystery? Come see!”

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