A Little Gas Problem

Well, the saga of my ongoing dive into dementia continued this morning when I stopped by 7-11 after my workout to get some gas and buy a coffee.  After putting the nozzle into the car’s gas tank and setting the handle on auto-pump, I went inside the store.  Coming back out, holding my wallet in one hand and my hazelnut coffee in the other, I got into the car thinking about everything I needed to get done Bad Kelly Daytoday.  As I drove away, I heard a horrible kind of clunky thumpy sound.  Then I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  The kind of dread that I have not experienced since I skipped school in 8th grade and I got caught and my parents called me into the living room to have a “discussion.”

Sure enough, the gas nozzle was still stuck in the car and the black hose was laying on the ground like a dead black snake, several feet away from the gas pump.  Getting out of the car, I was in a total panic.  If gas had been spurting out anywhere, it would have been the end of me.  Fortunately, the handy-dandy designers of gas pump stations have taken peri-menopausal women who are losing their mind into consideration with their product design and the pumps have a coupling device that comes apart and blocks the gas immediately so nothing spills.

For reasons I can only blame on my panicked state, the first thing I did was pull the nozzle out of my car and shut my gas cap.  Then I started to walk towards the 7-11 with the nozzle in my hand and the black hose trailing behind me like a tail.  It occurred to me that this would look very, very odd to the people in the store.  So I walked back to the car and laid the hose on the ground.

The walk of shame back to the 7-11 was very long, and I am pretty sure everyone was staring at me.  Walking through the doors, the approximately 23 Hispanic construction and landscaping laborers just stared at me with varying looks of amazement and confusion.  Collectively I heard,”How does anyone even do that?” coming across to me from all their brains.  I looked at the lady behind the counter.

“I’m not really sure…I mean, I can’t believe it happened…I mean, this is very embarrassing…But, well, I really don’t know what to do….” I sputtered at her.  She was very gracious about the whole thing and followed me back out to the gas pump with a red plastic bag marked “Out of Service”.  She covered the nozzle with the plastic bag and hung it back up on the pump, where the hose swung back and forth in a very forlorn manner.

“It happens all the time,” she assured me.  But I have a suspicion she was just trying to make me feel better.

Categories: The Unexpected

2 replies

  1. You are so lucky the station manager was nice. I (one time only in my whole life) recently put the nozzle in my car, started it filling and went inside to get something to eat. In my defense, it was really cold out and I was really hungry. Then the station manager starts yelling at me that my car was overflowing. You got it – gas everywhere as the auto shut off malfunctioned. I had to endure complete humiliation as some woman in line says “who could be that stupid?” If I wasn’t so panicked, I’m sure I would have thought of something scathing to say back, but I just paid for a lot of wasted gas, got in my car, and drove off as fast as I could. So you’re not so bad…

  2. So today… right after work I go to a Mobil to fill my tank up, the handle of the gas thing had a red bag on it but it was not covering the nozzle, just the handle. There was no “OUT OF ORDER” sign on it. As I start to fill up my tank the hose spits out all the gas from a huge whole. I got a free car wash and smelly clothing. My boyfriend said that the red bag on the handle meant out of orderd. If that was the case why didn’t they put it over the nozzle I dont understand I just cried and was terrified.

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