Embarassment is not a strong enough word.


I could say those words every minute of the day today and I don’t think it would properly convey to you the humiliation I feel right now. Hell, I could tattoo those words across my forehead, take a picture of myself, make t-shirts out of that picture, and never wear anything but those t-shirts for the rest of my life and I STILL don’t think you’d understand exactly how embarrassed I am right now.

Let me start at the beginning.

I went to go nurse NikkiZ around 10am. When I got to my car, I saw I needed gas, so I went to the gas station first. While the gas was pumping, I ran in to buy a granola bar for a snack. I came out, saw the pump had stopped, saw my receipt had been printed, and pulled the hose out of the car. When I turned to hang the hose back up, one last burst of gasoline jumped out of the nozzle all over both my shoes and my pants.


I knew I would need to go home and change because I probably stunk pretty bad. Unfortunately, I live about 30 minutes from where I work, and NikkiZ was hungry. So, I decided to go feed her a little bit to hold her over, and then run home and change. I decided to leave my shoes in the car, since they had sustained most of the damage, and walked into the daycare. I walked past the front desk, smiled at the lady, and walked directly into NikkiZ’s class.

“I’m going to go ahead and apologize for my smell. I spilled gas on myself and need to change but thought I’d come feed her first since I live so far away.”

The teacher had no problem with this and smiled at me as I walked past her to get NikkiZ. Then, she was like “GIRL! You do smell!” and one of the babies started crying. I told her I would step out the door onto the playground to nurse NikkiZ quickly before I ran home to change. I sat down in the grass and was just thinking about how much I should nurse to hold her over for an hour or so when the cook ran outside.

When she opened the door to the outside and yelled “Come on! Everyone has to get out of the building!” I noticed there was a siren going off and lights were flashing. She and NikkiZ’s teacher were wheeling cribs out of the building along with the babies across the hall. NikkiZ’s teacher and I were trying to hear what was going on when someone said the fateful words:

“We think there’s a gas leak in the building.”


NikkiZ’s teacher and I made contact and I mouthed, “Thats ME that they’re talking about.” We immediately started reassuring everyone that there wasn’t a leak, that I was just covered in gasoline.

Like that makes ANY more sense.

We get all the babies and teachers outside and I explained to them all (including the owner) what happened and why they smelled gasoline. I was almost in tears I felt SO bad. I kept saying, “I’m sorry! I’m SOOO sorry!” They were reassuring me that everything was okay, no big deal, they needed a drill anyway. To be fair, I may have done them a favour because it really is so important to know exactly what to do when you smell gas in a building. Evidently? When the alarm is triggered (which someone had triggered it when they smelled the gas) it automatically calls the fire department. Lo and behold, there they were. The fire trucks pulling into the parking lot as we were all standing there with screaming babies and freaked out teachers.

Oh, the babies. They were ALL screaming. Half of them were evidently napping on cots and had to be yanked up and thrown into cribs to allow that they be wheeled out as quickly as possible. Then, there were the babies in NikkiZ’s class who were crying because they smelled me and I STUNK.

See? I didn’t quite realize how bad I smelled until someone from the back of the building said, “Yeah – I smelled the gas smell and then started feeling dizzy.”


I’ve since been home, cleaned myself up, and changed clothes. I also had to go back to the daycare to nurse NikkiZ the rest of her meal, since she had only gotten part of it. All of the teachers laughed when I walked in and I could hear several others talking about it down the hall. I’m foreseeing a newsletter to the parents explaining that the fire department had been called, and that they didn’t need to worry.

It seems that one of our parents thought it would be smart to come nurse her daughter while being soaked in gasoline.

That’s me. Who wants to bet I’ll get some sort of nickname out of this one? They may not tell me to my face, but I can almost guarantee they’ll have one for me behind my back.

And in case you’re wondering? I still smell gasoline. I probably will be smelling it for days. The smell won’t last as long as the humiliation though, that I can guarantee.

48 thoughts on “Embarassment is not a strong enough word.”

  1. You poor thing! At least you’ll get a funny story out of it some day, I guess. You can tell NikkiZ how you cleared out a whole building because you smelled. Okay, that probably didn’t help. Sorry.

  2. Zootgas?

    Could be a new brand.

    “Put some Zoot in your tank!”

    I’m sorry girl, I’d have done the same (but the nursing probably would have been rather painful for me). I have NO sense of smell so I depend on the kindness of others to tell me if I’m, er, odiferous.

  3. I’d say the other mommies should thank you for triggering a low-stakes, but realistic, fire drill. Your actions buy them true peace of mind.

    Screw humiliation – they should buy you presents!

  4. Gosh Zoot…when it rains it pours (…gasoline) right?

    What a bad day. I’m sorry. Keep your chin up!

  5. Oh Girl, you just cracked me up!! How awful!!…but Funny!! I’m sorry, I do feel your pain but surely I can hee haw while doing so!? Don’t forget the firefighters who will be telling that story all day because it (hopefully) will have been the only excitement they experienced on their 24 hour shift.

    Oh yeah, where can I get one of those T-Shirts?

  6. May I suggest….gasshat?

    Just kidding, girl. I know you’re embarrassed, but on the other hand, it is kind of cool to GO BIG like that, gettin’ the national guard called out and shit because you made a little boo boo at the gas station. Next time the tornado sirens go off unexpectedly I’ll know who to blame.

  7. I’m so sorry my first post to your blog is me laughing my ass off at you, but that’s hilarious. Even though I’m sure it didn’t feel hilarious to you, the visual almost made me pee my pants.

  8. at least there were no incendiary devices going off nearby! The whole gas thing is something that would have happened to me so i can totally empathize. ergh.

  9. In our town if the fire department is called out for a false alarm and there is clearly “someone” at fault, they get billed – and it’s like $400!

    Try washing the clothes you had on in vinegar, then again with detergent – I’ve heard that works well on gasoline smells.

  10. Oh my gosh! Wow…that’s worse then when I ran into a plexiglass wall! Poor Zoot…you deserve some Ben and Jerry’s tonight!

  11. At least you got a good (hilarious) story out of spilling gasoline all over yourself. When I was about 8 months pregnant, I spilled gas all over myself (I mean all over from my belly down) and all I got was to ride home with all of my windows down, crying and gagging.

  12. I’ve been telling the story around the office because, well, it’s just THAT good. I work with a bunch of male retired law enforcement and military personnel as well as a few women in the support staff.

    I told the secretary and she thought it was hilariously embarrassing.

    I told the guys and they just looked at me with solemn faces. One started, “You know, static electricity … that’s quite dangerous,” and the others followed. I told them to go away.

    It’s obviously embarrassment men have a hard time understanding. I’ll keep the retelling to women from now on. It’s DEFINITELY one for NikkiZ’s baby book … and I’m so glad it was one for the Internet. We feel your pain—maybe not in gas-covered misery, but definitely with die-from-embarrassment-ness!

  13. oh god! i am laughing, but like squinting in pain for you…i am so so sorry!! hope the rest of the day goes better!!

  14. Zoot, I am so sorry…..
    But you did give me a good laugh after a painful conference call, so it was good for something besides a fire drill….
    I am sending you a mental Krispy Kreme!

  15. You didn’t ask, but I’ll offer it up anyhow. Stop and get some lemon juice on the way – lemon your hands and feet and whatever else smells like gas.

    It works on garlic too!

  16. Oh god, I’m sorry but I’m laughing so hard that the tears are starting to flow.

    You poor thing…..hahahahhahaha (sorry)….ummm…yes, that is horribly embarassing.

  17. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats so good I would of thought you just made it up. I cant believe that!!!! Yeah embarassing is not the word for it. I would have been mortified to be sitting there and all of a sudden that happens. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But you totally made my day with that story and hey maybe that was the reason it happened. You made alot of people on the internet fall out of their chairs with laughter. Thanks!!!

  18. OMG. (((Hugs)))) I’m somewhere between crying for you and laughing at you. It’s seriously something that I would do so I’m allowed to laugh. See! (((hugs)))

  19. You could be an episode of “What Not to Wear”! Thanks for posting the funniest thing I’ve read all day!

  20. Hahahaha! Sorry, Zoot… I’m sure if I was in your shoes, I would be equally mortified, but that story is HILARIOUS!! At least now you can rest assured that your day care has got emergency evacuation down pat!

  21. wow. I’m speechless. that is the funniest, most horrifyingly mortifying story I have heard in a long time. or ever. as I read, I was right there with you, in your story. I am blushing in embarassment for you.

    the fact that you can write about it makes me think that you thought it was a little bit funny? just a tiny bit?

    I think we all need to have a drink on your behalf tonight.

  22. Oh give me a break. What kind of moron in that building confused the smell of natural gas with the smell of gasoline? They should be embarassed not you.

  23. Actually honey, after we hung up and I stopped laughng my butt off I thought the same thing as D Bunny..But reality kind of ruins the humor….Have a beer/glass of wine or something just to calm down tonight……………Thanks for the phone call…

  24. Miss Zoot- I am so sorry about that! I can’t even imagine how you must have felt when you saw all those people rush out of the building with the screaming babies! Sometimes embarassing things happen to good people!

  25. Oh my LORD…


    Okay, that was mean. Funny, but mean. Yeah, I’d be embarassed beyond belief too. What I can’t believe is that it set off the alarms! I mean, how much gas did you spill? That’s just crazy talk there, that is!

  26. Delurking to say, LOL – that is some story!

    If I might offer a gentle suggestion… this seems to be a recurring theme in your posts – getting dirty, spilled on, stained, etc. You might like to think about carrying a spare change of clothes *with you* for future mishaps.

    Just a thought…

  27. Oh my Goodness! that is horrible… I’ll give you 10 big hugs and 12 bigger donuts!!

    Hope tomorrow is a better day!

  28. Oh you poor thing. But I must say….I really commend you for putting your baby first. I certainly hope the gas didn’t burn your skin by being there for so long.

  29. I think you should focus on the fact that you were more concerned about nursing your child than taking care of yourself – truly wonder-woman mothering!
    But really, a funny, funny story.

  30. Oh yeah also maybe since you are always getting something spilled on you….its time for a new category???

  31. *Coworkers all turn around to see who’s laughing so hard*

    I understand the humiliation, but… think how you would feel in 40 years when you tell this story to your grandchildren!

  32. PS this Where Tm Supposed to be sympathetic to your plight ais it ok to laugh like hue? oh you poor baby – snort – Chuckle Even with a wig and shades, being with Nikkiz would give you away. Snort.

  33. I won’t laugh. Out loud. Promise. This could be a story that is passed down through the generations. Or at least submitted to some TV show as a plot line!

  34. You could be Zoot…Unleaded! This is absolutely-freakin’ hilarious, but I know you were completely mortified. Thanks for sharing this priceless story. My husband backed into our daycare owner’s van with his employee’s truck…we thought that was bad! πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply