Yesterday, I was running late and low on gas.
I knew I would have to fill up, but I hadn't expected my mechanic to use so much of my gas when he tested the car. Plus, it was hot out, and gas always seems to evaporate out of my tank more when it's super hot out, you know. Anyway, I told my co-workers I was driving to the nearby gas filling station on fumes, and they wished me well.
It was very busy at the station, with every pump in use, and several with two cars lined up as well.
As I sat in line, waiting, I saw the man in front of me finish pumping his gas, replace the nozzle into the pump, and turn to walk into the store to pay. He left his gas cap off, and the tank open to vent. From my vantage point, I could see the gas fumes shimmering as they escaped his tank. I thought it wasn't very smart, but I kept my mouth shut and waited.
In the meantime, the guy at the NEXT pump was holding his nozzle to his tank, filling it, and in his other hand, he cupped a cigarette butt. Not a full cigarette, mind you, but less than an inch as it smoldered away. He bent over, and carefully rolled it on the pavement, not to extinguish it, but to knock some ash off. I thought he was stubbing it out.
I rolled down my window and called over to him that it was really very dangerous for him to be doing what he was doing. "Huh?" he asked through half-lidded eyes? I repeated my comment, realizing that he wasn't going to do anything about it. "That's REALLY dangerous to be smoking around so many gasoline fumes. They're everywhere around this station," I pointed out.
He barely shrugged as he took another draw on the cigarette stub and looked away. I rolled up my window.
He finished and got in the big white car, as two other women came out of the store and squeezed into the car. I'm not sure why they weren't concerned, considering their passenger just about blew their car to kingdom come.
But nobody seemed to care. Maybe it's because they get away with it, and a fire hasn't happened yet to them.
I looked over to the air pump, where another man was sitting in his car, with a full cigarette dangling from his lips.
"Idiots" I thought. I looked around at all the people who were gassing up or buying junk at this store. Every one was at risk by these idiots.
I made a mental note never to return to this station during rush hour. It is just too risky. Someday, I'll be covering the story of the gas explosion here.