When my parents visit the east coast from Arkansas, they fly in and out of DC, but go to Richmond to see my brother, sis-in-law and the twins in the middle of their trip.  Unless I can get the day off, I usually follow on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning to spend a weekend as a Big Family Unit. Thus begins my tale of this weekend’s adventure.

On Saturday, I hopped out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed* and got in Ol’ Blue, aka The Silent Death Trap, my navy ‘97 Volvo. My old joke about Volvos is this: The good news about a Volvo is that it will never die. The bad news about a Volvo is that it will never die. Ol’ Blue has no speedometer, no odometer, no dashboard lights, and no functioning horn. It does, however, have a cassette player, a few Fabulous Thunderbirds tapes and a $0 car payment. Pros outweigh the cons, if you ask me.

Blue and I were cruising down 95 when I noticed she was a little low on fuel, so I made a stop. I put the hose in the tank*, flipped the handle-kick-stand-thingy to keep it going by itself, and popped the hood to check the oil because I am a Responsible Car Owner. Everything was good under the hood* so I ran in to wash my hands and have a quick pee pee.

Back outside, I grabbed the handle to put the hose back* and that’s when it happened.

The hose swarmed on me.

Gas started spewing everywhere* and the hose was out of control*. I honestly don’t remember what happened next, I must have blacked out. The next thing I knew, the hose was back in its cradle* and there was gas on my pants*, my shirt, my tank top and my $11 ballet flats.

I sat there stunned for a few minutes, assessing the damage. At one point I turned back toward the car and thought, “I’m sure it’s just a tiny splash*! Everything’s fine! Let’s go to Richmond!”

Nope. Oh, such wishful thinking.

I fished my change of clothes from my overnight bag and headed BACK into the gas station where I had just been to pee pee so I could change and wash off whatever gas had leaked through my pants and onto my leg. Please to enjoy the mental image of me in the bathroom, pantsless with my foot up on the sink splashing water onto my knee.

I sent a quick text to Dad to tell the family that my journey had been delayed by 30 minutes by the gas incident. Back on the road, I zoomed down to Midlothian with my soiled clothes in the trunk.  I arrived and after a few much needed hugs and kisses from my favorite 8 year olds on the planet, I was redirected back outside to deal with the gas issue.

The group had Googled what to do with gas-soaked clothes and it wasn’t as simple as just rinsing it out before throwing it in the laundry, which is what I would have done. What did we do before we had the Internet*?

THEN THINGS GOT FUN*. At least for me, because for whatever reason, someone else did all the hard work*, and I just took pictures and video*.

We put detergent, color safe bleach and the clothes in a bucket and filled it with water. Then we agitated it with the stick end of a push broom, and rinsed it twice.


Lastly, it was time for the spin cycle*.

Comedy gold.

We hung the clothes up on a 40 pound test fishing line that Matt had strung up between two trees on the side of the house, much to the displeasure of my very, very accommodating and tolerant sister-in-law (and the probably the HOA).


They dried overnight and smelled pretty good when I folded them and put them in my bag to go home.

After it was all said and done*, I ended up with hand-washed clothes rid of all gasoline.

I think we learned a lesson in all of this: If something starts to swarm on you, the best thing to do is surrender, go with the universe’s flow and write a blog post so everyone can laugh with you!


*That’s what she said.

2 thoughts on “Swarm

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