Does your gas pump ever make you feel wet and sticky?

So I'm at the gas station the other day, and I grab the nozzle from the pump to put gas in my car, and the handle is wet and sticky.* WTF? If you read my blog, you know that I think people in general are scum, and this was no exception. Who would get shit all over the pump handle, and then not clean it off? Disgusting, I tells ya.

Not knowing whether it was blood, cherry popsicle residue or Something-else-red-I-Know-Not-What, I look around for a paper towel to wipe it is off my hand. As I hit the towel dispenser, I realize that they now have a Purell hand sanitizer dispenser next to the towels. I never even thought about it before, but what a great idea. Normally, I put the gas in, jump in my car and go on my way -- probably because I never got funk on my hands before.

This Purell stuff looks to be alcohol suspended in an aloe gel or something. I really have no idea what's in it, but you can tell that when you put it on your hands, microscopic things are dying at an extremely satisfying rate. I gobbed it on quite heavily, and I'm pretty sure that whatever that red goo was, it didn't stand a chance.

That got me thinking. All things considered, a gas pump handle has to be one of the most "handled" things in the modern world (insert joke about John's vasectomy here), and EVERYONE who drives ANYTHING needs gas.

That garbageman who just spent 12 hours getting maggoty garbage juice all over his hands, the new guy working for the tree service company with the seeping blisters on his palms from running the chainsaw all day, that fat chick who just dug her week-old underwear out of her ass before she got out of her car, the Harley dude who is allergic to showers -- all of them need gas for their cars, trucks, busses and bikes.

So along comes you, and you grab the handle and drop 20 in the tank. Even if you pay at the pump, you're still hanging onto that hotbed of viral funk for upwards of at least 3 minutes. That shit is halfway up your arm by the time you drop the pump handle back in the slot. Then you jump back in your car, grab the door handle, the seatbelt buckle and the steering wheel...before you know it, your car is basically a rolling petri dish.

Then all you have to do is inadvertently rub your eyes or bite a hangnail, and best case, suddenly you've got three weeks to live. Worst case, you just ate an antibiotic-resistant strain of group A streptococcus, and 6 hours from now you'll be a steaming puddle of goo.

OK, now that I've grossed myself out, think about that shit next time you get gas, and remember: Be kind to your immune system -- it's the only thing standing between you and a hideously gruesome death. And if you see some sub-human shitting up the gas pump handles, call them on it -- maybe they're so clueless they don't even know they're doing it. ("Dude, did you know your hands are bleeding? No? Well, you might want to get them looked at. I don't think fingernails are supposed to fall off like that.")

*speaking of "wet and sticky," it turns out that I must not have been the only one a little grossed out by the mini-pad commercial, because I saw it again last night, and they changed it. The brazen woman now asks the other chick if her pad ever makes her feel wet and "uncomfortable."


  1. I've seen those hand sanitizer things all over! They are awesome!

    Gas pumps are one of the biggest things my semi-germophobic self hates. I've even used a napkin to hold the handle so my bare skin wouldn't have to touch it. Blech!

  2. Oh thanks a lot! Damnit that was the one thing I hadn't thought of in my already long ridiculous list of daily OCD worries that require a set plan for getting through my life. On the bright side you just gave me something else to blog about.
    Ugh, i'm bringing paper towels everywhere now. Oh yeah that purell stuff is fab, I carry it in my purse.

  3. Paul, that's funny as hell. We used to do that with lighter fluid when I was a kid. Nothing beats running around a hospital with flaming hands. You're pretty much already where you need to be.

  4. jv..."GLOVES", first!!

  5. Oh, I think it was jelly, from a donut. I saw a dude eating a donut and having a little trouble managing it - well with the pump ing one hand, the donut in the other and trying to work in puffs of his CIGARETTE!!!!!

    I think we have a late entry for the casting call for the Human Torch.

  6. Thank you.

    And people knock me for paying an extra three cents per gallon and going out of my way to find the full service station. After reading this, I'd pay an extra 20 cents per gallon.

  7. I just threw up.

  8. Funny you should mention this. I filled my gas tank just today. After, I grabbed the little Purell bottle I keep in my car and slathered my hands. Just like always. :-)

  9. Anonymous8:35 PM

    I love the way you gross me out.

  10. I have purel hand sanitizer everywhere. I've also used it everywhere. Maybe a little surprisingly, it burns more when you use it to fashion a makeshift premoistened asswipe than it does when you use it to ensure that prematurely removing your own nut stitches doesn't cause you any undue infection.

  11. Wow you really are a germaphobe. Germs are mostly good for us, strengthen our immune system. I work in wastewater plants and the people that work there every day never get sick. Ever.

    I noticed that about the pad commercials. Ick. Nobody should have to watch that shit.

  12. I'm not really, I just play one online. It's really not germs I can't see that I object to. It's getting red shit on my hands at the gas station.

  13. Thanks. I never thought about the germs on the gas pump handle before. Now you've grossed me out, not that it'll change anything as I'm sure I'll forget about this in about five minutes - until I next pump gas (next week maybe) and then I won't have the Purell with me and I'll be all disgusted....YUK!

  14. Anonymous5:41 PM

    Where did you find a full service gas station? Do they still pump your gas? You're not on the other end of a time tunnel are you?

  15. We have to pump our own here. But it's still the law in Jersey that they have to pump it for you.

  16. Anonymous6:39 PM

    Oh please stop posting Purell ads... Hand sanitizer may kill germs, but it won't get the gasoline or grease off your hands that you are more likely to get from the gas pump. For that, you'll need these archaic things called SOAP AND WATER. FYI, the gasoline will kill all the same stuff that Purell will. The only difference is Purell smells nicer and gives you a false sense of cleanliness...

    1. well...not to put too fine a point on it, but you're wrong.