No good deed goes unpunished

I’m not actually angry about this and I’m not here to blow off steam, but The Pit seems to be the place to chronicle the less-than-stellar moments of humanity.

I stopped at a gas station on my way home from work. While I was standing there, pumping gas into my car, another car pulled up to the other pump on the same island. The driver got out, started pumping gas into his car, and then I noticed something. There was smoke coming out of his exhaust pipe, he had left the engine running. I looked around a bit, and sure enough, there were signs hanging on both sides of every island saying it was prohibited. I said (and I hope this doesn’t sound condescending in print, I wasn’t trying to be) “Excuse me, I think they like you to turn off your engine while you’re refueling.” He said, “Thanks for reminding me of that. This way if it blows up we’ll both go together.”

I know this is pretty anemic as Pit rants go, but I thought it was worth committing to our collective memory somewhere.

What a wanker!

You should have pulled the nozzle out of your tank and given him a good squirt. That would’a put the fear o’ god into the chump.

… then lit up a smoke.

That fella is just asking to be punched.

I rarely, if ever, shut my car off while refueling. I also tend to smoke while doing so. That said, I would NEVER say something like that to anyone…

And your user name is xploder… seems as though you tempt fate my friend.

You do know that gas fumes are explosive right? You know that you don’t have to drop a cigarette into the gas itself to die horribly, sometimes the fumes will come up to you as you stand there and puff?

If you get me killed I’m going to be very upset with you.

xploder, are you serious or joking? If you are serious, I am very curious as to why you would not only leave your car running, which is bad enough, but also smoke! while you are pumping gas. I am not asking so that this can turn into a “let’s slam xploder” thread; I really want to know what your reasoning is: did you just never think about how dangerous it is; or you didn’t know one way or the other; or you do know you’re not supposed to do this but don’t agree that it’s really all that dangerous, or what.

This is indicative of a MUCH larger problem in society these days. It has more to do with common courtesy and simple sense, than with one particular asshole. I’ve seen this time and time again. I find it irritating, and it shows an atrocious lesson to my kids, who are old enough ( 9 and almost 11) to clue in to rudeness and arrogance.

You asked that person to turn off the engine, for both of your sakes, and were treated rudely. I ask someone to make some minor adjustment in what they are doing- loud radio, kids being obstreperous, etc.- and am told to fuck off. There’s this " fuck you asshole, this is MY LIFE, MY SPACE ON THE BEACH, MY PLACE IN LINE, MY SEAT AT THE MOVIES" attitude that’s turned into a meanspirited ugly Anti-Social mentality. Why the fuck can’t I move a few seats over if it means someone’s kid behind me will see the movie better? Does it really matter to me? It does not, I look for such things when entering a social situation.

It’s called common respect and decency. And it’s slowly being drained from society daily. My kids and I were looking over the Time magazine cover story this week on the so-called “Columbine Effect”. The conversation really wandered into this territory. Why take offense AT EVERYTHING?? Is everything a source of litigation? Why is it a sin to blink first?

<sigh> Sorry for the rant, but that asshole was more interested in protecting " his American Inalienable Rights to blow his ass the fuck up", than he was interested in the common good. I find that despicable.

End of Rant.

P.S. I have to think that Xploder was joking here. I mean, when I’ve seen a thread about cartoons, I go hog wild. Here was a thread topic hand-made for her/him. At least, I hope to god she/he was joking…


At least you’re only required to shut the engine down and not smoke, attitudes that even tough you don’t share you can understand the need of.

Here in Brazil you can’t use a celfone on the gas station. Aparently the celular’s “magnetic field” can ignite gasoline.:rolleyes

Hmmm, interesting. At manned gas stations here, you don’t get your gas pump turned on if your engine is still running, and the attendant politely asks you to turn your engine off. As for smoking around the pumps, I believe they actually run out and dose you with the fire extinguisher (okay, that part’s not true, but the first part is. :D)

If you knew there was a chance you would blow yourself up, why wouldn’t you shut the engine off? In college I drove a truck that had to be started with a screwdriver – no mean feat – and I still shut the engine off to gas the truck up.

Sometimes I think people think the government/gas station/whoever puts up warnings and advisories just to exercise control over people and boss them around. This baffles me: Why the heck would the gas station give a shit whether you turn your engine off or not, except for the potential for explosions?

My dad has a case involving a young man who filled his gas can with gas while the gas can was in the bed of his pickup, despite LARGE warnings that you should only fill the can with gas when it’s SITTING ON THE GROUND. But the guy didn’t understand the rationale for that, so rather than assume a good reason existed, he assumed the warning was just up there to put a pain in his own personal ass. He was very badly burned in the resulting explosion/fire, and while I feel sorry for him, my reaction remains: What the fuck? If it SAYS “don’t do this; you could get hurt,” why the fuck would you do it anyway? Just because you don’t personally SEE how you could get hurt? Just because you don’t see a danger doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I agree with Cartooniverse’s observations on common courtesy and forebearance.

[Frasier Crane voice on]

What you need, my friend, is a little ETIQUETTE LESSON!
::giving the guy the bum’s rush::

[Frasier Crane voice off]

Heheh…This is so true. Two friends of mine were at one of their houses and one was dumping some flammable cleaner fluid or something into the sink (this was a while ago, and I don’t remember completely). After he finished and there was a “lake” of the stuff, my other friend pulled out a lighter and held it above the sink a ways and jokingly said “Hey man, what would happen if I drop THIS, heheh…” and flicked it on.

His eyebrows grew back eventually… :slight_smile:

  • Tsugumo

I, too, agree with Cartooniverse and pugluvr,


Only to the extent that this guy’s actions were dangerous.

As far as him being an asshole, that’s a different story. Now, I’m the first person to want to rearrange someone’s face when they’ve been rude to me; it REALLY torques me off. BUT, I do support anyone’s right to be an asshole.

Obviously I dont’ like assholes, but it seems that we’ve gotten into the habit of trying to legislate courtesy, and I can’t support that. If the guy just wants to be a jerk, so be it.

That said, I also believe it should be a legally viable defense (him being an asshole) when I kick his ass. In Texas we always joke that "he needed killin’ " is a viable defense - maybe it should be.


I bet this is a really incredibly stupid question, but why exactly is this dangerous? (I wouldn’t do it myself, just because I follow the posted rules at gas stations; just wondering why it’s dangerous.)


You mean you DON’T KNOW??? Of all the incredibly stupid . . . Okay, I didn’t know, either. :slight_smile:

Apparently, plastic truck-bed liners (either pop-in or spray-on) can generate static electricity during fueling, which in turn can spark of the metal gas nozzle and cause a fire. Judging by how badly the guy was burned in the incident I know about, I’d say a BIG fire. Apparently in his case the gas can exploded. Here’s a link, brought to you by the CDC:

I’d be surprised if it was for a reason other than gas vapour (as is given off by gas and displaced by gas as it fills the can) is heavier than air, and can stick around in a ‘walled’ (for want of a better word) environment. We used to own a small river cruiser on the UK canals and were horrified that some boat owners would take their cans onboard and fill up, rather than taking the main gas tank off the boat and downwind.

There were a couple of terrible accidents a few years ago caused by this; over time the gas vapour collected in the bilge of the boat. At some point (and this could take months) the height of the top of the vapour would take it as high as the floor of the cabin. A lot of small cruisers would have propane-fired refrigerators which would have a small pilot-light at near-ground level.

Result? Unfortunately a lot more deaths than just the boat owners. They were in the bottom of a lock at the time and took the other boat with them.

BTW; it’s now illegal to use such refrigerators in the UK, and your boat will fail its safety certificate if it still has one.

Sorry for the off-topic.

Oops. Forgot to say that Jodi’s static-charge-on-plastic-gascan is probably another good reason too.

Although they also recommend that you don’t enter or exit your car when refueling, so I don’t think the static hazard is limited to just plastic bedliners.