Under the Quilt

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo (how about you, you, you)

If you're not a fan of Raffi then you might not get the title. I have been trying to plan a another daycare trip to the zoo. I bought a membership in May and we've taken two trips so far. The kids absolutely love it and I love any excuse to get out of the house and do something different. Even though it's a ton of work for me. Mostly because I have to pull 4 kiddos, averaging 35-40 lbs. each, in a wagon+lunches+diaper bag=back breaking work. But it's all worth it.

Well, to get to the point, our trip needed to be postponed. About a week ago I was getting gas in our minivan. And because we had enough free gas credit from our local grocery (due to Ron's expensive precriptions) to get up to 30 gallons of FREE GAS. Yep, you heard that right. So in order to take advantage of that offer, I brought along 2 (6) gallon gas cans. With the van's tank on empty and the 2 gas cans I was able to get 27.5 gallons. Of course it irked me that I was throwing away money by not having a third can on hand. If you do the math (which I always do), at $4 a gallon, that's like flushing $10 down the toilet. Moving on. When I carefully placed the cans into the back end of the van, the thought crossed my mind..."Since these cans are full and heavy, they should be just fine back here all alone". Do you see where this one is going?

About a mile and a half from home, I noticed that the smell of gas became really strong. Not hearing a thump in the back, I thought that some fumes had escaped the vent thingy on the top. I rolled the windows down and kept on a truckin'. Welp, guess what? Not one, but BOTH cans had tipped over and the entire trunk area was saturated with gasoline. The panic set in. I ran in the house and told Ron, "I. NEED. HELP." I think he sensed the urgency in my voice and hopped to his feet.

We soaked up as much as we could with some rags, making sure to hang them out on the clothesline instead of clumping them into a pile in the garage and creating a combustible situation. I googled to see if I could find any solutions besides lighting a match and collecting on the insurance (can you say fraud?). Here's a few tips that I found from people who have had the same thing happen. Clean with vinegar and hot water solution (done that twice so far and then shop vacced), baking soda and hot water (done), air it out (it hasn't been closed up for the past week), kitty litter, febreeze, and pour a 5lb. box of baking soda on it and leave for a month. Everything except for the last one sounds fine to me, but we have a time constraint problem. Our trip to the coast is planned to happen in 3 weeks. Hopefully by then the overwhelming smell will have gone away. I really don't want to be driving for 7 hours down the freeway with all the windows down.

Anyone else have this problem? If so, I would love the hear how you took care of it. I'm getting tired of scrubbing and vaccuming only to have the same results when I'm done. And I really don't want to pay the $300 to have someone replace the carpet. As they say, there's so such thing as a free tank of gas...


  • At 2:50 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

    Wow. I wish I could help, but it's never happened to me. The last time I drove on a regular basis, gas was about $1 a gallon. Can you imagine?

  • At 10:06 PM , Blogger ThePurpleOwl said...

    Hi Rox,
    I was going to say charcoal to soak it up and get rid of the smell, or baking soda...

    And when I googled to check, I found: http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070814191307AAkacPW

    Hope it helps. I've used baking soda on clothes and charcoal on car carpet, and they seem to work. And I know perfumers etc say that they can 'clear' smells from their noses by sniffing coffee beans, so... let us know how it goes!

  • At 11:45 PM , Blogger Roxanne said...

    Bearette- I remember selling gas at our tiny grocery store when I was a kid for 99.9 cents. Those were the good 'ol days when you could just go for a drive for the heck of it, douse your hair with aerosol Aqua Net, and throw away glass plastics and everything else under the sun. (I'm actually not complaining about any of those, just being sarcastic)

    Purple Owl- Hi! Thanks for the tips. I used kitty litter and it seems to have worked. Although I still detect a gassy smell when I put my nose down to the carpet so I may use the coffee grounds to see if it'll come completely out.

  • At 8:11 AM , Blogger Liz said...

    Oh no, that's terrible. Hope you can find the magic answer.

    Once, when I was in college, the gas stations down the street from my house got into a price war. I gleefully filled my tank for 69 cents/gallon before driving home for the weekend.

  • At 11:05 PM , Blogger Caro said...

    Oh man what a bummer. You lost your free gas and your van smells.

    On the bright side, you can't smell the ground in french fries anymore. LOL


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