This story was told to Wildflowersp by Husband.

Several years ago, I drove a fuel truck as part of my job. I delivered bulk gas, diesel and propane to rural customers. At the time, I lived in the middle of Nebraska, a sparsely populated part of the state, with a lot of empty space between houses, like 25 miles in some cases. Cell towers were much farther apart than that, and cell reception was non-existent. It was a sun shiny Labor Day, and my boss had promised me the rest of the day off, after I made a round of deliveries. I was working about 90 hours a week for this guy, so extra time off was a rare commodity.

I had some trouble at the first place. I needed to fill an underground tank with gas. When I put the nozzle into the fill pipe gasoline sprayed back out at me. I couldn’t get more than a trickle into the tank, at about one gallon a minute. I could tell that something was blocking the fill pipe. Since I didn’t want to wait 1,000 minutes to fill the 1,000 gallon tank, I improvised. I crammed a piece of radiator hose down the fill pipe, past the blockage and began to fill the tank fairly quickly through this. The underground fuel tank had an air relief vent which ran underground 20 some feet, then up along the side of a building some 15 feet. When I had the fuel tank full, gas started shooting out of the air vent. I unhooked the hose from the fill pipe and gravity took over. The fuel that was up in the air relief had only one place to go, back out the fill pipe. I took an unleaded gasoline shower.

Gas on your skin burns, a lot, and I was coated with it from head to toe. I took off my shirt and crawled into the truck. Driving to the next stop, I became uncomfortable in the southern part of my briefs. You know, my tender areas. I was in the middle of nowhere, and my crotch was on fire. I did what anyone would do. I took my pants off. Actually I left them around my ankles. I had several miles to go, and the fresh air from the open windows was starting to get things under control. Aside from being a little distracted, I was driving fast so I could get home, for more than one reason now. The gravel road had a couple of curves, and at the second one I lost control of the fuel truck, and rolled it over onto its top. I crawled out as quickly as I could and looked around for witnesses. Then I pulled my pants back up. Fortunately, the truck didn’t explode.

Most of the gas on my pants had evaporated by the time I hiked back a mile to use the phone. Nobody was home at that place, but they had left the house unlocked. I called my boss, who surprisingly, was not mad. I got off work at 6:00, four hours earlier than usual, so I still got my vacation.

Later, I found out that the tank owner’s kids had been putting rocks in the fill pipe, and a large one had lodged itself in the bottom of the pipe, right above the tank. If you know where to look, the windshield is still in the south ditch.

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