Because I am a social person, I love being around people.  Fairs, concerts, festivals, even just going shopping with the kids on a Sunday afternoon.  And, I honestly believe that most people are level headed and have the best intentions.

Most of the time...  But, sometimes, I witness something that makes me fear for humanity.

What I saw over the weekend was one of these cases.

If you have driven for any length of time, you have no doubt seen the warnings posted near the gas pumps at a gas station or convenience store.  They warn you to turn your vehicle off, refrain from using your cellphone, and...  NOT SMOKE!

On Sunday, I was on my way to take my daughters to do some Christmas shopping and to have lunch.  We needed gas, so I rolled into a gas station on Western Avenue in Augusta.  I got out slid my card through the reader on the pump, grabbed the hose, stuck it in my vehicle, and started pumping.

Then, I took a deep breath in.  I smelled gas (of course) and cigarette smoke.  Wait?  Someone was smoking at the gas pumps?  Yep!

Honestly, and I know it is still not safe, but I would have been a lot less concerned if they were filling their car with gas.  However, that's not what these two guys from Connecticut (according to their license plate) were doing.  Nope, they were filling up those red plastic jugs used for carrying extra gas.

At least, in the case of car, truck, or SUV gas tank, the tank is sealed and the only access is through the filler tube.  It is a lot less likely that there would be gas anywhere but in the vehicle.

Not the case with these gas containers.  If these gas cans had been used before, there is a chance that they could have gas spatter on the outside.  On top of that, unless you are really careful, it is possible to have spillage from the container.

And, as you may already know, the real danger with smoking near gas pumps is the fuel vapor.  Sure, if you put a match to a puddle of gas, it will burn.  But, if that vapor gets lit, it will explode!  The FLIR website has a good writeup about this phenomena.

Max Kukurudziak via Unsplash
Max Kukurudziak via Unsplash

Just as I opened my mouth to say something, these dumbasses tossed the gas containers haphazardly into the trunk of their car, jumped in, and drove off.

I've got a few questions...  The big one, of course, is why they couldn't wait to light up.  How long would it have taken to fill up a couple of five gallon gas cans?  A few minutes? Or, if you really have to smoke right then, why not smoke in the car - away from the flowing gasoline.

Now, keep in mind that these were not young kids.  They were middle-aged men who should have known better.

I have absolutely nothing against people who smoke.  Honestly, I don't even care if you smoke around gasoline (or butane, or propane, or natural gas, or whatever).  Please just don't do it around other people...  Especially, my kids!

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