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Static Cling

I pulled into the gas station to fill up Ethel (the mommyvan).  A chore I no longer dread.  As it’s so much easier to see what I’m doing, with no tears flying from my eyes.

What with the reduction in gas prices and all.

And so while killing time pumping gas, and with clearer eyes, I gazed at the pump.  Since I only had one child with me, I didn’t have to press my face against the back window to yell at the 3 of them to quit messing with each other. Much to the enjoyment of other gas pumping patrons.

And while gazing at the pump, my eyes came to rest on a set of instructions.  Interesting.  I’ve never known the gas pump to come with a set of instructions.  I thought since I was there, I’d read them.

And make Fiddledaddy proud.  Especially after the great gas grill explosion of ‘08.  If you’ll recall, I’m not one who reads instructions.  A factoid which continually makes Fiddledaddy’s eyes bug out.

Oh, the instructions came with the usual, “pay, select grade, lift nozzle, pump gas, yada yada.”  But off to the side, in smaller print, was a sign that read “Failure to heed this warning can result in death.  Or worse.”  (I’m paraphrasing.)  My interest was piqued.

And underneath that came very specific instructions about grounding yourself.  As in, when you get out of your car, you are to touch the metal on your vehicle BEFORE you touch the pump.  To rid your body of static electricity.  Otherwise, a spark could occur, and a spark around a gas pump = BOOM!  The end.

And furthermore, if you should need to climb into your vehicle for any reason (like to swat at your children) and then get back out, you needed to touch the metal on your car again before touching the pump.  To discharge the static electricity.


And this all makes sense to me, especially since the children have all discovered that static electricity is an excellent means of inflicting pain and torture on a sibling.  And get away with it by calling it “science.”  I know.  Shocking.

There was a bit more printed on the gas pump.  The spiel about not using your cell phone while pumping gas.  But, I already knew about that.  One day, while I was pumping gas, Fiddledaddy called me on the cell phone.  We chatted for a bit, and he asked, “Where are you?”  “I’m pumping gas.”  “WHILE YOU’RE ON THE CELL PHONE?”  “Um, yes.”

And then his head exploded.  I could sense it with my finely honed feminine instincts.

Now the cell phone remains holstered, inside of Ethel, when I fill ‘er up.

And I know all about grounding myself.  It’s called a mommy time out.  And it may or may not involve a small glass of inexpensive Port.

Like I always say.  “Safety thirst first.”


15 Responses to Static Cling

  • Oh, Mylanta. That is funny on 75 kinds of levels.

    Ethel? As in, so cleverly named after “ethanol?” Even if not, it’s a great name.

    How is it that when stopped at a gas station, my kids can unbuckle at record time, get in each other’s faces, and cause WW III — but when we’re running late to church, they suddenly cannot even find their seat belts, let alone remember how to use them?

    LOL, screaming through the window. Only I imagine it’s more of the “look” paired with “angry mouthing.” I’ve got that gig mastered.

    And! Did you know that here in Oregon it is illegal to pump your own gas? The truth! You have to wait for an attendant to do all the dangerous tasks instead.

    Tears flying from my eyes…snort snort…

  • Wow… I’d be tempted to move to Oregon (for many reasons, but having someone else HAVE to pump my gas would be wonderful) except that sometimes those brief moments outside the car, with my children and cell phone safely encased inside, are the only brief reprieve I get from them! As they scream bloody murder inside “HE TOUCHED ME!” and i look around nonchalantly as if to say, “Children? What children? ”

    ahh the joys…

  • you are hilarious!!

  • More reason for me to believe a host of angels watches over me while I flail through life.

  • ROFLOL!! My van’s name is Vinnie the Nerd~because when we got the van, one of my kids thought it was a vinnie-van and the last coupla letters on the plate are NRD…apparently the MVD *knew* the plate was going on a minivan when they made that plate…forever cursed.

    As far as pumping gas, I am with Sally. I can stand outside the van and pretend I hear nothing…and my kids know that unbuckling without asking is certain death;)

  • I live on the wild side. I talk on the phone WHILE getting in and out of the car at the pump.

    I’m just a wild and crazy gal.

  • Hey Mythbusters have proved this one to be incorrect. Tell Fiddledaddy a power higher than his own has set the record straight and they use science.

    (I don’t think you should let Jenson watch this show until he’s of legal age as they are always saying don’t try this at home – EVER!)

  • OH. MY. GOODNESS. So, I’m not the only one who got the sense scared into them about sparks and ka-booms! Thus, I freeze now while I fill up my GiGi (that’s for Gas Guzzler), since I won’t do the anti-static dance nor will I leave my car running when I fill up. Although, I have no shame about doing the “Holy Crap It’s Flippin’ Cold Out Here, Hurry Up Pump!” dance. 🙂

  • I’m so glad our’s is not the only van with a name. Our van is named “The Vantastic”, and when the kids are in there, they are the Vantastic Four!

    I was SO excited to tell you that the Mythbusters had proven the cellphone thing wrong, but Joanna beat me to it.

  • Hi there. I just started reading your blog, and I love it. 🙂 Thought I’d de-lurking…

  • “just thought I’d de-lurking.” Really I’m not a moron. Just thought I’d de-lurk!

  • Just a computer nerd delurking to tell you that the whole static thing is more of a danger during cold dry weather. Not really a problem during Florida’s humid season (aka frog weather). Just sayin’

  • I saw this on Oprah once. She had video of a guy’s car blowing up. I always touch my van when I fill it up, even if it isn’t when I get in and out while it’s being filled.

    Didn’t know the cell thing was debunked. I feel so much less of a risk taker knowing I was talking on the cell last night when I filled up.

  • It’s good to live in Oregon. No need to worry about spontaneously combusting. Just being overcome by mildew.

  • I forgot about the MythBusters episode! Man, I miss my cable TV. I always liked that show. Well, except their language wasn’t always kid-friendly.

    I made my Hubs read this post. That’s why I’m back.