Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gas Woes

How many times have you gassed up your car in your life?  

Thousands, right?  At least.  

Let me do the math here:  I've been driving for 27 years.  Let's say I gas up my car on average once a week, so that's 52 gassing-up-car events annually. Multiply that by 27 years  and you get 1404.  


Not as much as I thought, actually.  

No matter, I'll just change the verbiage.  The impact is still there.  

I've gassed up my car hundreds of times in my life.  

Hundreds. It was the greatest discovery of my life, at the tender age of 16, that little "lock" on the pump that allows you to not get hand cramps when you're gassing up the car.  And bonus!  It will stop all by itself.  Magic, that is. In recent years I've taken to putting the pump thingy in my gas tank, locking it, and running inside the store to grab a Diet Coke. 

Multi-tasking, this was.  Also known as "time-management skills". Honed over a period of decades.  This little trick alone should be enough to impress any manager out there thus guaranteeing me, for life!, excellent, well-paying jobs with lots of opportunity for advancement.  

Because there's tons of advancement opportunities for social workers, of course.  

I did this recently. Gas tank: on empty.  Tanya's Diet Coke tank: on empty.  I run into the store and even though it's 11:30 at night, I'm forced to stand in line at the check-out counter.  But I don't think a thing about it, because I'm gassing up my car, and that takes time.  I usually have to wait for it to finish anyway.  This time it can wait on me.  Tra-la-la!  

When I finally walked out a few minutes later, sucking my Diet Coke like an addict in need of a fix (which, OK, I'm not going to lie.  I sorta am.) I was horrified to see gas spewing like water from a broken main out of my gas tank. For the first time in my memory, that little mechanism on the pump handle did not disengage when the tank was full.  

What the hell? 

I would like to point out that gas at the time this happened was $3.38/gal.  Meaning by the time I got out there, there was at least $7 worth of petroleum just spreading out on the sidewalk.  Not to mention all down my car.  Oh!  And I'm on the way to work.   


You know what gas fumes are like.  They permeate the air worse than a dog's flatulence.  I tried like crazy to not step in it, but that was damn near impossible.  I tried like crazy not to get it on my hands, but that was also impossible.  I got in the car and promptly infected the inside with gas aroma.  I had to roll down my windows so I wouldn't get high woozy on the way to the hospital. 

When I arrived at the ER, I started prepping my paperwork and talking to the nurse who was working with the patient.  As an afterthought I asked her if I smelled like gas.  By this point, I had been in the car for forty minutes, so I didn't really think I reeked of Circle-K.  I was just curious.  

Her immediate response: 

ER Nurse: yes.   
Me:  I do? 
ER nurse: yes.  I smelled it as soon as you walked in. 


So I told her the story.  She then said: 

ER Nurse: Come here.  

I followed.  She proceeded to hand me some peppermint extract.  

Me: This will help?  
ER Nurse: Yes.  It's really strong so put some on a towel first and then rub the towel on your hands. 
Me: Is this yours?  
ER Nurse: No (pointing to a cabinet), we keep it up there.  
Me: Why? 
ER Nurse: For people who stink.  ->  


mikelynn said...

This has happened to Michael twice. He no longer trusts the little locking mechanism. I figured it was him.

Tanya said...

It wasn't him. We've been lured into a sense of security with those mechanisms. I blame Exxon.

Anonymous said...

yeah, this is your husband. you really shouldn't leave that running and walk off. kinda dangerous.

darci said...

I caught one before it spewed everywhere too. I thought it was just that pump, but I don't trust them anymore either. That really, really sucks!