I hate gas fittings.

Sweartagod, after I’ve betrayed the revolution and set myself up as president-for-life, there are gonna be some changes around here.


I go through this every gorram time. All I wanted to do was replace the single regulator on Ian’s propane station with a bypass regulator, to prevent the water heater from running out of propane mid-shower. The Lair has two bypass regulators, one for the kitchen and one for the bedroom, and each time I installed one I had to scramble – multiple times each – to find the one fitting that would connect this to that. I have a coffee can full of them – all wrong, of course. Because there are so gorram many of them.

In Ian’s case the matter is a bit more serious than a possible cold shower. Ian originally planned to get one of those big household tanks, which of course would need to be accessible to a propane truck. So he buried quite a lot of pipe. Bleeding all that line from the bottle to the water heater is, as I know from personal experience, a time-consuming matter I’d like to avoid in future.

So anyway: I bought a regulator online, hoping to use two pigtails I already had. Naturally they were incompatible; don’t know what I was thinking. This past week I bought two pigtails that would work. So far so good, but not done yet. This morning I tried to connect the regulator to the hose going to Ian’s place, and of course the fitting is the wrong size.

And of course I don’t have the right size, because the one off his old regulator won’t go on the new regulator.

Utterly pissed off, I decided that while I was there I could at least accomplish something: He has a 100# bottle that’s been stored at that station for years: I can’t use it because it’s too much for the old men to get back and forth. It couldn’t stay inside the station any more, so I decided to roll it down the hill to Ian’s place.

Probably would have thought that through a little better if at the time I hadn’t been, as previously mentioned, utterly pissed off.

Let’s just say the bottle got a really good roll going before…


…I realized that it wasn’t going to stop at the driveway. It was going to overshoot the driveway and hurtle straight over the cliff to the wash.

Probably wouldn’t have hurt the bottle; it’s soft sand down there. But still. Cliff. So here’s the stiff old one-legged man running downhill as best he can, trying to prevent a scene that probably featured prominently in at least one Three Stooges short.

Made it. Barely.

Too early to drink?

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to I hate gas fittings.

  1. Judy says:

    Naw, it’s not too early. Sounds like it should be a double shot with a beer chaser.

  2. Malatrope says:

    That is remarkably close to the scene which ensued when I got off my lawn tractor to move a rock and it decided to roll down the hill towards the grocery store. I couldn’t catch it whether or not I was paying attention to my lungs. Fortunately, it squarely hit a neighbor’s fence “post” (rebar) and was stopped…a 15% probability given the spacing of the things.

    I left the bent up post in place, and he never asked.

  3. Ben says:

    Perhaps the most dangerous situation would be if the stiff one-legged hermit were fast enough to actually overtake the rolling tank. More than the Three Stooges, that situation brings to mind a typical Road Runner cartoon, wherein Wile Coyote is ran over and flattened by some heavy rolling object.

  4. Mike says:

    Joel, it’s five o’clock somewhere. 🍸

  5. Spud says:

    Seems like such a simple thing to those who are not not running impaired.
    I was banned for the rest of my life from ever going beyond a slow walk. Orthopedic surgeon said that if I ever attempted to run again, it could be the last time I ever walked…
    So I very much can relate Joel !

  6. Whatever says:

    As a probable lifetime hop a long, time will tell, I can relate. Great story though, visual was most excellent in my mind as I drank my first cup of morning tea. Not laughing at you Mr. Joel, just with ya. Lol.

  7. Jeffrey says:

    Would a quite small trailer designed around carrying two of the 100 lb bottles permanently mounted at, say, a 60 degree angle, make them usable? Empty they’d weigh 100 lbs less than full, and a simple “full to empty” gauge would tell you when each was down to the last few gallons or so.

    A 20 lb cylinder holds a little under 5 gallons, so 100 lbs is about 24 gallons, not quite 5 times as much. Having 48 gallons on wheels that’s towable would seem worthwhile.

  8. matismf says:

    If you do what Jeffrey says, you could even rig up a harness for Toby to tow it!

  9. Joel says:

    Jeffrey, that would be the same concept with which a lot of low-income hermits without wells haul their water. 300g tank permanently mounted on a little utility trailer of some sort. I see them going back and forth all the time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Murphy is our shepherd, We shall not want…” Thanks for reminding me I’m not the only old fart still lacking the impulse control I had expected to come with age

To the stake with the heretic!