Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 Gassed Up
See, I knew that the only way I could have broken the snowblower was if I'd forgotten to run it out of gas the previous spring. And I was pretty sure I'd done that, and even if I hadn't been, the empty gas tank when I first got it out of the garage confirmed that I had.
But then its failure to start even after I'd filled the tank told me something else had gone wrong. Full tank and all, I schlepped it to the repair shop in the back of my station wagon. And that was the genesis of my second problem.
As I've already mentioned, the carburetor was leaking. What is was leaking was fuel. And where that fuel was leaking was onto the carpet of my station wagon. For a long, bumpy drive. The back hatch wouldn't close with the snowblower in there, which meant lots of frigid air was blowing around inside of my car. Otherwise I'm sure I would have more quickly been alerted to the fact that the carpet of my cargo area was being soaked with enough gas to burn down a submarine.
The issue was considerably more noticeable after the door was closed and I was sealed in there, with the air outside freezing cold and the "air" inside consisting of yellowish fumes that made the road in front of me go all wavy. By the time I got home that evening (coincidentally, the day of the worm dissection, because I remember that after I helped unload the moving van at Chao's new house I stopped at Office Max to pick up the stuff you need to vivisect an invertebrate in your kitchen), my wool overcoat smelled like a refinery. Oh well, it was in need of a dry-cleaning anyway.
For a couple of days I left my car windows open in the driveway. I also pulled the carpet out of the back of my car and hand-washed it in the laundry tub using dish soap and a hand-scrubber. It didn't get all of the gasoline smell out, but it did enough that I could leave it in the back yard to freeze-dry. It was still there when the blizzard hit the following weekend. It's currently under three feet of snow, and in the spring I fully expect it to continue stinking of Blue Planet™.
Trash started encouraging me to take her car any time I went anywhere, because she didn't want me and M. Edium to show up at places reeking like we'd been slamming Molotov cocktails, battling twin headaches and having hallucinations of Vietnamese monks.
My parents lent us their pickup truck to visit Trash's mom in Iowa the weekend after New Year's. I met my dad at a McDonald's halfway between our houses and he drove my Saturn home. Between one thing and another, I didn't get it back for two weeks. When I went to pick it up again, it was still a non-smoking car, not only because nobody's allowed to smoke in it but because if anybody had tried they would have been instantly blown up.
When I got home, I left all four doors and the rear hatch wide open, hoping the frigid wind would carry some of the fumes out of the car and to some unfortunate family in need of something to burn for warmth. I was even clever enough to turn off the dome lights so they didn't drain the batteries. I felt less clever the following morning, when I realized that not only had I failed to ever go out and close the doors, it had also snowed six inches overnight.
It wasn't fun to scoop six inches of snow out of the back, front, and middle of my car with one of M. Edium's beach shovels, but after the heater had melted most of the residue, I had to admit that it had taken the majority of the smell with it. Now the inside of my car only smells like the street in front of a gas station rather than the giant tank underneath it.
I'm hoping that the smell will continue to dissipate over the remainder of the winter. I always enjoy driving with my windows open in the summer, but this time I'll be looking forward to it even more than usual. It's either that or spontaneous combustion. posted by M. Giant 3:47 PM 2 comments
THIS: I felt less clever the following morning, when I realized that not only had I failed to ever go out and close the doors, it had also snowed six inches overnight.
Febreze, my friend.