Fumes

My father didn’t cook.  I can’t even recall him ever making a sandwich, much less cooking.  He did chop the onions and celery for stuffing on Thanksgiving (the only time I ever saw him chop anything) and late in life he did start making bouillabaisse occasionally – a dish with which my mother resolutely refused to be associated. 

Of course, being a middle-class American male, he did the outdoor grilling (although my mother prepared anything that was going on the grill).  I can still envision my father dousing the coals, lighting the match and flinging it from as far as he could manage.  The grill would practically explode in flames; my father used gasoline, not lighter fluid to start the fire.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing as lighter fluid until I was an adult out on my own.

You’d think that having watched my father blow up the grill on a regular basis growing up that I would have a good sense of the power of gasoline.  Three weeks ago, after the last measurable snow, I got my snowblower out for the first time this winter.  It was given to me by a neighbor who moved to Chicago; he left his gas can to me as well.  As I was adding gas to the machine I noticed that the spout had sprung a leak and to keep the gas from running all over, I held the spout together with my gloved hand.  Since my glove was now wet with gas, I pulled a second glove from my pocket and pulled it on over the first.

When I got all done and went inside, I pulled off the gloves along with all my now-sweaty clothing and threw it all in the washing machine with a few other dirty items from my hamper.  Now some of you are probably already shaking your head, but I was still clueless until I opened the washing machine later to the overpowering small of gas.   If I had known I was about to do something stupid, it would have been easy to find online advice about gas on clothing.  But since I hadn’t known, now I had a washing machine full of gas fume-filled clothing.

It took me a full week and at least six washings (some with just vinegar and water, some with detergent) before I was willing to put the clothes in the dryer and even then I ran the dryer on air dry for over an hour.  Now that it’s been a couple of weeks, I’ve lost track of what clothes were in that load but I’m still feeling compelled to smell things as they come out of the washer.  (Oh, and I threw the gloves away when I realized what I had done.)

Done anything foolish recently that could have been avoided with a bit of advice?

30 thoughts on “Fumes”

  1. i brought home a truck load of stuff yesterday and my wife was not pleased
    i am not looking forward to the rest of the stuff i need to bring
    advice would be something along the lines of
    communicate weeks ahead of time so it doesn’t come as a complete surprise
    i can’t see warm up anger sessions to get it down correctly but i might not have the proper perspective

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Well, again, last night, we were searching for Husband’s hearing aides minutes after he took them out. We had just returned from grocery shopping and the kitchen was in an uproar with food to be put away, and the hearing aides are always a problem when Husband’s face mask comes off, as the aides pop out with the removal of the mask, and wouldn’t you know it, I again found them in their case on the kitchen table where Husband didn’t think to look from the first moment he couldn’t find them.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Three days ago YA and I got home from running a quick errand and I couldn’t find the television clicker. We looked all over the house for it before I finally did the “when was the last time I saw it, what was I doing” etc. Well it turned out I had set it on top of the purse when I was working on stuff earlier that morning and it fell in and I carried it around all morning for my errands!!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. VS, have you bought a new gas can yet?

    That must’ve been a thing, back in the day, to use gasoline for just about anything. Dad washed parts in gasoline, he’d use it to get grease off his hands. Diesel fuel mixed with some old motor oil and splashed on a brush pile makes a good way to get a fire going. And there’s are some stories of my family trying to launch model rockets without fuses or igniters by using gasoline and toilet paper.
    Gasoline! The wonder product!

    I haven’t really thought about washing something with gasoline on it would be an issue. I might get a little gas on my clothes these days when repairing something, but not soaked like your gloves. I guess maybe I would’ve left it in the garage to dry out or something first. But I don’t ever remember my mom talking about that. She complained about the smell when dad washed his hands in it. And dad had warned me to take your watch off first otherwise gaskets under the band and irritate your skin.
    And be careful trying to siphon gas for the hose. I have done that a few times. For some reason I feel like tim would have more stories about that…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Actually I already have a gas can that is perfectly serviceable but I want to use up the gas that my neighbor left me. I have a gas funnel so when I need to add gas next time I will just simply take the broken spout off and use the Funnel. Then when the gas can is empty, I’ll get rid of it and just stick with my old one.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Your story about your dad lighting charcoal with gasoline reminds me of the first camping trip I took with my father. I was about 14, a difficult age in many ways, and I was beginning to see my parents more critically. Camping in the BWCA showcased my father’s shortcomings as an outdoorsman. I was shocked by some of that. Dad couldn’t start a fire until he learned to drench the firewood with gasoline, then throw a match at it from a safe distance. Each day of my first wilderness trip began with a startling concussion as the morning campfire exploded.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. We used to live at a campground in Phoenix, AZ. We had no washer or dryer of our own, but the resort had a nice laundry room. I brought a newsprint magazine to read and put it in the basket of clothes. Forgetting the magazine was in the basket, we dumped all the clothes in the washer. Fourty minutes later, I opened the washer door and was horrified to see huge balls of “lint” everywhere! “What the heck is this?” I cried. As I continued to pull out laundry, I realized that the balls of lunt were from the magazine! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I decided to put the clothes in the dryer, anyway, but stood nearby. Every few minutes I checked the filter to clean gobs of dried paper off the screen. I realized I had to stay close by to keep cleaning the paper to avoid fire. Accept for a pair of jeans, most of the clothes were, amazingly, lint free.. I laugh about it now, but it wasn’t so funny then.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Well, turning on a news station comes to mind.

    But I made a batch of my dad’s oatmeal cookies (added choc. chips) and then left them in an easy access location. My healthier self knows the prudent thing to do is put two or three on a plate in the cupboard for today, and have Husband hide the rest, or put them in the freezer. My regular self is feeling bloated, and they’re almost gone.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. For some reason that made me think of this advice by Steve Martin: “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.”

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes. They smell really bad. Don’t shoot the skunk in the head. Stay upwind. They say you should shoot it in the spine but I haven’t tried that. The dog took 3 weeks for the smell to go away and that was using the deodorant shampoo. Just a few days for him to at least be tolerable in the house, but the smell was still there for a long time.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I have two memorable skunk experiences, and I think I’ve told both of them on here before. I agree with Ben, the stench is terrible and there really isn’t much you can do about it.

      Once, wasband and I were out in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming with our small dog Snoopy, exploring a petrified forest. As I said, the middle of nowhere: no houses, no cars, no trees, no water, just a few buttes off in the distance, the petrified forest in all of its glory, and the road we had taken to get there.

      Snoopy was off exploring as well. Since there was no traffic, we had just let him run. At some point I spied him off in the distance, wiggling on his back in the middle of the road. By the time we got to him, he had thoroughly smeared his entire fur coat with all the glory of the remains of a dead skunk in the middle of the road.

      Our car was a 1963 VW Beetle, so putting him in the trunk was really not an option. The three-plus hour drive back to Cheyenne with him in the back seat was one of the longest and most unpleasant ones I have ever endured.

      Washing him first in tomato juice, and then dog shampoo, and rinsing with vinegar, did little to remove the smell. Sprinkling him with wasband’s aftershave was futile as well. It seems like it took weeks before we could stand being near him again, but that may an exaggeration. I do know it took several days, at least.

      Liked by 4 people

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