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Gas Station Milk Bath

by Bryan Powell 2 years ago in humor
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A mostly true story

Gas stations: I hate them. I will wait until my tank is on ‘E’ before I will go fill up, not for any political or ideological reasons, nor due to any superstition or laziness, but because when I was nine years old, I was covered head to toe in gasoline outside of a Shell station. Here’s the story… Mom decided today I was on ‘Gas Pump Duty’, a title I was eager, yet hesitant to take on, as she went inside to purchase her two cartons of “Virginia Slims”, as was her bi-weekly tradition. She got started with all the ‘heavy lifting’, pulling in and out the credit card, selecting the grade of gas, and putting the pump into the car, then left me with the simple task of “just holding the handle down without letting go, until it stops”. She even explained how EASY it was; all I had to do was hold onto the handle until it clicks…

Now, let it be known, that I’ve never done this before, and she said to not let go of the handle trigger, until it clicks. So, there I stood, as a 9-year-old, hand gripped firmly on the trigger, shooting gasoline into our minivan. I don’t know what I’m doing, and would like to be reassured I’m giving a great first performance, so after a minute, I am looking around for Mommy, and turn – pulling the handle out of the vehicle, while gas is ricocheting off of the Armor All and raining down on me, for what feels like, is an eternity, but rest assured, my hand never let go of the trigger. I am drenched in gasoline, much like Officer Marvin Nash from Reservoir Dogs. I look like a mobster who’s trying to get information out of myself; My Mother then comes out of the Shell station.

The next thing I remember (after she finishes her cigarette) is being rushed into the gas station and taken to the back, where I was placed in a giant, industrial sized sink. Or perhaps it just felt enormous being that I was but a boy. The two Indian gas station attendants (note: it’s not important to the story that they are Indian, but it’s true, so why leave it out?) join us in the back, and begin pouring gallon upon gallon of milk onto my 9-year-old, stripped down to his ‘whitey-tighties’ body, because: fun fact: milk emulsifies gasoline. A fact I would learn years later when retelling this story to a science major. SCIENCE IS FUN! My mother can’t tell my father what happened, no. Instead, when questioned on why I was wet and naked, my mother interrupts me, saying, “Can’t take the boy anywhere; made a mess in the milk isle!” to which he nodded as if to say “true dat” – I guess I was known for my shenanigans at the time.

To this day I hate them. I pay at the pump so I don’t have to go inside, because if I see the milk isle, I’ll lose my shit. But paying at the pump is almost no better than being in there because they make you play the same game: 20 questions. I think it’s all just an elaborate way to sell more car washes. Yes, this is a debit card, yes, this amount is correct, YES, this is the correct pin number, YES I want a carwa-FUCK! Have you ever noticed how they sneak that question in there, right after a bunch of things you are guaranteed to say “yes” to? Then what are you going to do… NOT wash your car?


About the author

Bryan Powell

Hello! I am a comedian, short film & sketch maker, writer, artist, movie fanatic and rambler... I'll stop there.

You can check out some of my work at or follow me on any social media platform at @TheBryanPowell

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