Living in Atlanta, there’s one thing you learn about rather quickly: traffic. Or rather, how to plan your entire day (see: life) around it. When you first move to the city, you’ll lose your shit somewhere on the interstate at some point. It happened to me one afternoon. I’d already been sitting for an hour, at times creeping along at a mere 6 mph. As I was trying to merge onto a different interstate system, a tractor trailer cut me off. Instead of continuing to scream obscenities at him, I did the next best thing- I threw a can of Diet Coke at the trailer. From my sun roof.
Not my shining moment of glory. Yet, that’s what the traffic does to you.
Anyway, the longer you live here, the easier it is to get your commute down to a science. For me, this means filling up my car at lunch. There’s just no way I’d stop after getting off work- which would essentially bump my drive time from an hour to an hour and a half, two hours, easily.
So this afternoon, I swing into the gas station and start filling up. I wasn’t quite at empty, so I’d guesstimated that I’d need close to thirty bucks to get to full. I’m pumping and pumping. And pumping some more. I smile at the dude filling up next to me. I watch traffic go by. I enjoy the breeze. After I’d passed the thirty dollar mark though, I thought to myself, “Man, maybe I was closer to E than I thought.” At forty dollars I knew something was up.
I let go of the handle and removed the gas nozzle.
The gasoline waterfall began.
Now look, you all know there’s some sort of mechanism that’s suppose to CLICK when the tank is full. Regardless of whether you’ve propped that metal piece up so you can lean on your car and wait or if you’re an old school holder- there’s a CLICK. There was no click.
For a brief moment I panicked. Then I started looking for some paper towels- like I’m at home. Because anytime there is a spill or an emergency (cut finger, spill, guest bathroom out of TP), I’m looking for paper towel. There wasn’t any.
So as the gas continues to shoot out of my car, I’m holding onto my flowy pants (best friend says I look like I should be teaching pottery at the community center today) with one hand, I’m desperately trying to figure out what to do. I’m pacing and turning in circles while saying, “Shit! Shit! Shit! Oh my God… wait… whaaaat!!!”
Looking down at the pool of gasoline, then back to the pump, then back to the gas tank barfing up toxins, I do what looks best-
I grab the squeegee.
Before I soak up gas with it, I have a flash back to the intro of Zoolander. I pause, think about what I’m going to do, make sure no one near me is smoking or talking on their damn phone and then simply reach out and put the cap back on. Then I take the squeegee and wash the gasoline off the side of my car.
While I’m standing in a pool of gas.
While wearing flip flops.
And holding onto my pants with one hand.