Excuse me, where’d I put the soapbox? Oh. Right here, next to the day job. Well, let’s get started then. Here’s the scene.
I’m at the gas pump putting gas in the car. At the pump next to me a car pulls up and out pops a teenage girl, cigarette in hand who sashays over to the little booth to pay for her gas.
The attendant says, “Ma’am, you need to put out your cigarette before you pump the gas.”
And she snarls at him, giving the eye-roll that only teens seem to be able to master in such a sneering, who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are, and why are you in my world, asshole kind of way. So she huffs and puffs and makes a big deal out of putting out her smoke. By dropping it and smashing it with her tiny little platform shoe. Can you say ignition spark three times fast?
Funny, I was thinking of another place to put her shoe. But I digress.
This has happened four times in the last couple weeks. Twice it was the attendant, once it was my partner and once me that mentioned to the lovely ladies that they needed to put away their smokes and then pump gas. And it was at my local station and out of town, in different states. That tells me something is amiss.
Who is teaching these girls about the dangers of gasoline? Does anybody remember that it’s still flammable? I tend to forget myself, familiarity and all that rot.
Without getting all rocket science-y, here’s the short version. Water vapor rises, hydrogen rises, other types of fumes rise and float away on the breeze. Read my lips here, GASOLINE DOES NOT. Gas fumes are heavier than air molecules and they actually fall. They tend to rest near the ground, about thirty inches or so. Right about where Miss Smarty Pants wants to hang her smoke.
Now would it take a particular set of circumstances to set off an explosion? Absolutely. Most of the time there’s enough air movement it’s not an issue. BUT. Do you want your daughter to be the one to find out that the temperature, humidity, and lack of air movement were optimum, at the very moment she’s standing there?
And I’m in no frickin’ hurry to get blown up with her. I’d rather she live through the snarly-face stage to the point where she’s adult enough to like people again.
Burn injuries are horrible. And that’s the truly crappy part. Once it happens, you can’t stop it, and there’s no going back. I’m sorry, or, I was an idiot, doesn’t fix it.
It’s just a guess, but I bet young women put gas in their car way more than they have sex, do drugs, drink and drive, maybe not texting, but you get the idea. Please take a moment and add this to the list.
There are lots of people who should thank you for it. I do. Thanks!