Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why I Love Canada's "No Smoking At The Pump" Laws

Lindsay, when she isn't sleeping through the day, sits watching the world go by through our front windows. So she was the first to see my car pull into the driveway and went scampering to the side door to greet me.

However, as I entered, she came to a skidding, sliding halt about 15 feet away from me. Her eyes started to water and she gave me a look that said, "Now just what on earth have you been rolling in, Mister! You totally reek."

From her chair in the livingroom, I heard Linda yell, "What the heck is that smell?"

"That," I told them both, "Would be gasoline."

"Gasoline? What did you buy that smells so much of gasoline?"

Lindsay turned and scurried away, her tail between her legs as if she was the one who had misbehaved, giving me only one baleful over the shoulder glance as she left for the furthest corner of the house.

"Well, that would be me." I confessed. "I've splashed gasoline all over myself."

Linda came through the doorway and nearly gagged. Her eyes started to water. She backed up a step.

"I was downtown having lunch with Carol-Anne and on the way back..." I tried to explain.

"No, no, no!"Linda gasped, "Tell me later. Right now you have to get those clothes off and get them out of the house."

So, while Linda ran to fetch a housecoat, I took off my saturated clothing and hung them on the rail of our back deck.

"So, as I was saying," I began again, "I was downtown having lunch with Carol-Anne..."

"No," said Linda, "First have a shower while I open some windows. Then, believe me, this is a story I've just got to hear."

And so I had a long and refreshing shower, while Linda aired out the house and put on some coffee. She had a hunch something stronger than coffee would have been more appropriate for what was to come, but she was trying to stay away from alcohol, although this time I likely had a tale that would end her drought.

"Is it safe to start telling you my story?" I asked, all scrubbed clean and now smelling of Axe body lotion.

Linda nodded warily.

"On the way back from downtown, I noticed I was low on gas and stopped at the service station at the top of the street. You know, the one that gives Air Miles?"

Linda sipped her coffee and agreed she knew the station in question.

"Now, you know how, when you fill up your gas tank, there is a latch cover over the gas tank, and then a screw off cap? And then there is a final cover that flips open and closed at the entry to the gas tank itself?

"Well, I'm busy filling up my tank with the hose pushed through that flip up cover when the guy in the car next to me suddenly beeps his horn and starts yelling loud. I mean at the top of his lungs! He's yelling, 'Hey!' as loud as he can.

"So I turn to see what he's yelling at and it turns out he's spotted one of his buddies driving past and he wants to attract his attention. But as I turn to see what the commotion is all about I pull the gas hose back out past the swinging cover. It closes. The gas coming out of the hose hits the now closed cover and bounces back spraying me with gasoline from shoulder to shoes. And suddenly I'm saturated with gasoline."

"Good Lord," Linda said. "If someone had lit a match....."

"Poof! Barbecued husband." I said.

"That must have been terrifying," Linda gasped.

"Well, it was more just uncomfortable and smelly."

"You really do have the darnedest things happen to you."

"I don't try..."

"Thank Heaven, I'd hate to think what life would be like if you were trying to make this stuff happen." Linda shook her head, laughing. "I'd fear for the safety of the planet. Forget terrorists."

I laughed too. Lindsay emerged from the nether regions of the house, examining me with great suspicion.

"By the way what did the doctor have to say about your back?"

"Oh, I canceled that appointment. My back's feeling better."

"Because you almost turned yourself into a human torch?"

"No, it's just been getting better over the past couple of days. All I feel now are very faint twinges." I said. "I'm fine. Really, I'll be fine."

Linda shook her head. Many, many times.

And Lindsay went across the room to where Linda was sitting and laid down at her feet. Then the two females looked back at me in despair.

And I drank my coffee before it got cold. That was only polite.

While outside on our back deck, the light breeze was picking up the scent of gasoline from my saturated clothing and distributing it far and wide throughout the neighbourhood.