Hosed

On Thursday night, I was supposed to go to LA for Stefanie’s book signing event. (Speaking of her book, have you bought it yet? It’s hilarious and you will love it. You really should go buy it.
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t looking forward to driving out to LA. But then, I never look forward to driving into LA. The traffic, the assholes. The paying for parking. However, pretty much everything that is worth going to is in LA, so as much as I hate driving out there, I will always do it. Especially to support a friend.
I chose to dress just a little bit fancy. Black pants. White blouse. Pretty red pumps. I accented with a new black necklace and earrings. (That I bought at 40%, plus an additional 20% markdown with a coupon! At Kohls! That right there is some FANCY for you.) I took a little extra time on hair and makeup. Since Stefanie stopped drinking, she’s become really judgmental about looks, so I wanted to look to extra nice for her. SOBERS!
As I was walking out the door, I have to be honest. I was feeling good about the way that I looked. Not in a “I look so hot” way. Just a “I sure aint hating the way I look” way. That never happens to me. It felt kind of awesome.
I realized as soon as I started the car that I wouldn’t have enough gas to make it to LA, so I had to stop on the way to fill up. I knew there was a gas station about 20 minutes out that I could stop out that wouldn’t take me out of the way.
As I waited for the tank to fill up, I noticed that my car was FILTHY. So filthy that my son had decided to scrawl his name across the back window. Normally, a dirty car doesn’t bother me much. I just tell people “I have THREE KIDS! I don’t have time to wash my car!” Or something lame like that. It drives my husband crazy. But not crazy enough to wash it for me, apparently. (Not entirely true. Every 6 months or so, he’ll become disgusted with my car, tear it apart and give it a good cleaning. I promise him every time that I’m going to “keep it clean from now on every single day!” but that never happens. I HAVE THREE KIDS!) Anyway, as the gas was pumping, I went looking for one of those squeegee things that people clean their windows with as they pump gas. I found one right next to me. I was going to step over the hose to get to the back of the car, but it was just a little too high. So, I had the MOST BRILLIANT IDEA EVER. I would lift the hose up, the way you do when you’re cutting in line at Disneyland, do you know what I mean? I thought I’d lift it up, and crawl underneath the hose that was PUMPING GASOLINE INTO MY CAR.
As soon as I lifted the hose and ducked down, the hose came out of the tank and BEGAN SQUIRTING ME ALL OVER MY BODY! Like a hose!
I hadn’t even considered that the hose coming out of the tank when I pulled on it. WHOOPS!
I screamed “OH MY GOD!” Because I had just been hosed down with gasoline! No one came over to help. I imagine they were too busy pointing and laughing, like “HA HA! U tried to duck under the hose that was pumping ur gas! U lose at life!”
I froze for a minute, expecting my entire body to burst into flames, because, you know, I WAS DOUSED IN GASOLINE. My hair, my neck, my my shirt, my pants, my shoes. Once I realized I wasn’t burning up (YET!) I jumped in my car, picked up my cell phone and called Lena.
“You’re not going to believe what just happened to me!” She was all “What?” And I was all “ha ha ha ha gasoline ha haa ahha all over my body ha ha ha hahaa GAS!” She goes “Y, I can’t understand you. Are you okay? What happened.”
I took a breathe, afraid to breathe TOO hard because WHAT IF MY WARM BREATHE CREATED HEAT, WHICH CREATED A SPARK, WHICH WOULD MAKE ME BURST INTO FLAMES?”
I told her what happened and she was like “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that happening to anyone.” And I was all “I bet it hasn’t.”
We laughed and then I almost cried because I couldn’t go to the event after all. I told Lena I thought about still driving out there and she was all “that’s not a good idea considering you’re HIGHLY FLAMMABLE.”
We laughed some more.
Then, she says “don’t change the channels on the radio and Oh! You shouldn’t be on the cell phone!” And I went exactly like this “okay. Bye.” and hung up on her.
The ride home was terrifying. I wanted to roll my windows down because the smell was so awful, but I was honestly terrified of igniting into flames. I thought of someone someone accidentally throwing a match into my car. Or someone tossing their cigarette out of the car only for it to land in my lap. So I kept the windows up until I started to get lightheaded from the fumes. Then I’d open the windows for a quick second and roll them back up again.
The 20 minute ride felt like 2 hours.
I got home and within 5 seconds my husband could smell the gasoline. He did laugh a little and say things like “wouldn’t have made more sense to just walk around the other side of the car?” But mostly, he was just glad that I was safe. I had to wash my hair exactly 6 times to get the smell out. Clothes were put through the laundry twice. Shoes still smell like gas.
And that is the story of how I doused myself in gasoline and almost died while trying to support a friend.
As @SaracasticMomLC said on Twitter, thank God I wasn’t drinking an Orange Mocha Frappuccino.

51 thoughts on “Hosed

  1. Scout's Honor

    How about the acr? I spilled some in the car one time and I swear the kids and I were getting high on the fumes for weeks. It made them real chill. Second only to when they sniff markers. :)

  2. Nina

    you are not alone. I have also been the victim of a gasoline hose. Only, it wouldn’t stop pumping and brilliant me took it out of the tank anyway. hahaha
    Luckily, I was only like 1/2 mile from home & wasn’t headed anywhere important. I did have to throw away the shirt though.

  3. Backpacking Dad

    Back in y nefarious past, when I was working for The Man, The Man owned gas stations. I used to manage a few of them for The Man, and I can assure you:
    That happens all the time. Usually not long enough to soak anyone, because the hold-open latch should disengage with any sudden movement, but yeah, people were also soaking their pants or the side of their car by doing little acrobatic moves around the hose.
    The cell phone thing is bullshit, though.

  4. Kristen

    First – Kohl’s rule when you find things for 40% off 60% off 20%! It’s like it’s almost free sometimes and the compliments I get on Kohl’s stuff! Regardless I got that book from the library and read it in a day. It was hilarious. You must love having her as a friend!

  5. Nancy P

    How timely that as we speak I am stitching a needlepoint piece that says “Oregon Girls Don’t Pump Gas”. I would have been right with you on thinking I was going to burst into flames any moment.
    Ah.. the things that “seemed” like a good idea at the time..

  6. Amy

    OMG, Y….. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I’m glad didn’t burst into flames because then it wouldn’t have been nearly as funny.

  7. Sarcastic Mom

    Oh, Y. This is truly awful, but? Reading your account of it just has me peeing with laughter. I mean, granted, that happens when I sneeze or cough (or look across the room too hard) but this time it’s totally because you’re so damn funny.

  8. Aunt Becky

    One time, when I was pumping gas in the winter, I tripped while trying to walk OVER the gas hose that was filling up my car. Fell RIGHT INTO a huge puddle of slush and gasoline in front of probably, of I don’t know, 10 people, maybe?
    Shockingly, no one either laughed or offered to help me up.
    Stupid Midwestern sensibilities.

  9. Roxanna

    Y, I absolutely love ya. So sorry you got doused with gasoline, but it really is a funny story, especially with so Zoolander to back it up. I’ve spilled gas when refilling the lawnmower and used the possibility of an explosion for not continuing the job.

  10. Suzanne

    Hi Y, I’m delurking just to tell you that you make me laugh and this story has tears running down my face!! You and your family are wonderful and I so enjoy reading your blog. I’m glad you survived the “gasoline incident”. :o)

  11. Jen

    Hahahahaha! Oh my god this is so funny! And only partly because I can see this exact same thing happening to me. Thank you for posting your experience so that I think twice before crawling under the gas hose. No seriously.

  12. Stefanie

    I think the lesson here is that sometimes when we support our friends we have to make sacrifices – like paying a two drink minimum or buying a book or…getting hosed with gas. thanks for trying.

  13. beanery

    I had a very similar experience. I held the handle wrong when pulling the pump out of the tank and proceeded to douse my largely pregnant self with gasoline. Your story is a helluva lot funnier though because you tried to limbo with a gas hose!

  14. MBB

    Oh, Y, I so badly NEEDED this today! Hilarious!
    So I’m guessing you’re like me and have read the whole “don’t open your vehicle while the pump is engaged because static electricity will blow you into outerspace” warnings on the side of the pump? The cell phone thing freaks me out to. Some random spark and kaboomo. No more me.
    Glad you survived!

  15. Grizzly Kitteh

    Glad you’re okay :) That must have been awful – gasoline smell is just about impossible to get out.
    You didn’t have to worry too much though, gasoline isn’t nearly as flammable as most of the movies make it out to be.

  16. Katie

    Oh gosh, it can be funny now because you wrote about it and it’s all in the past so I can laugh, right? Ha!
    And I totally thought of that scene from Zoolander before I had scrolled down that far. Good stuff.

  17. Bree

    I have come out of the safety of my google reader lurking to say that I have shared this story with a lot of my friends, and they all agree that this story is hilarious, and that you’d make a ton doing the private speaking market. Please come to DC and speak to our mommies group. We’ll have lots of wine!

  18. Deb

    I just found your blog thanks to the Moxie Girls’ recommendation in their book. I laughed my a** off reading this! I also had a gas pump mishap but it involved an overflowing gas tank and I only got gas on my shoes. Lucky, I guess! I can’t wait to read past posts. I just started my own blog and I hope I can be as entertaining as you someday. Thanks for the sharing!

  19. The Only Girl

    OMG – that’s TOO funny! That’s exactly something I would do. I used to work at a gas station in my youth and you wouldn’t believe how many people drive away with the hose still in their tank, pulling it from the pump and squirting gas all over the place.

  20. nancy

    I had this happen to me and I was horrified and it still bothers me when I go to get gas. I went to pump my gas in Florida (where you have to pump your own) and the nozzle was in the tank and suddenly I felt my back getting doused and I turned and the hose had split and was like a fountain pouring gas all over me and my car. I threw the nozzle to the ground and ran into the gas station. Thank God I didn’t bump into someone with a cigarette or I wouldn’t be writing this. No one seemed to care that I looked like a drowned rat. I called 911 because the Hess station wouldn’t even wash my car and a car wash is right next door. The cops and fire dept came and they hosed down my car and I had to drive home. I was so scared that I was going to blow up that I cried all the way home, It’s only a ten minute ride but it seemed forever. It took many showers and a lot of shampoo to get that smell off me that my skin was itching. Then I got the car detailed because it was just a mess. I have a totally different outlook on gas stations now. I am presently in New York where they pump for you but I am dreading going back to Florida (residence) and have to do this myself. Horrible, horrible experience

  21. Kim Tracy Prince

    OMG HAHAHAHAHA
    haaa
    AND THEN SOME MORE HAHAHAHA
    And I just had to explain the whole thing to Stewart. If I was in town, by the way, I would have been sad to have missed you that night.

  22. e

    I had my boyfriend read this, to which he replied (and asked me to pass on): “I think I would’ve been more worried about inhaling the gas fumes and getting high and then crashing into another car and then our cars would burst into flames like in the movies.”

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