Friday, April 24, 2009

The Gas Company - It Never Really Ends, Does It

At 10:15 this morning the phone rang. It was the gas canister delivery man. He wanted to know if I have a key to the lock that chains the two canisters together. About 10 years ago I was a pioneer victim of double gas canister theft. It was discovered on a Friday evening when I tried to make some pasta for guests, including a first-time visitor to Israel from San Francisco. Late that afternoon I had decided cheat and buy some yummy pasta sauce from the very nearby Italian-owned restaurant Pasta Mia. At that time it was the only Pasta Mia, but now it's spawned many branches. They didn't have any white pasta left, and I didn't want green, so I planned to boil my own. The theft of the gas canisters interfered with my plan, but did not deter. I took my pot and my pasta packages over to Pasta Mia and explained my problem, requesting that they cook my pasta for me, implying that it was their fault I had to cook my own pasta in the first place. Amazingly, they agreed! So my San Francisco guest was treated to the spectacle of another guest running over to the restaurant to pick up the hot, cooked pasta for dinner, and I have become a loyal fan of Pasta Mia (on Wilson Street, not the other branches).

The next business day back than I was persuaded by Pazgaz to buy and a chain and a lock from them to prevent future theft. They kept one key and gave me the other, and since then their delivery men have come and gone without my involvement. I still have that key, but apparently the delivery man today didn't bring his, so he needed mine. OK. Down the stairs I trot in my bathrobe with key.

He can't open the lock: it's rusted shut. I think: this saga has no end. The heads of various neighbors appear in their windows. One lady wants to complain about a water leak, but another one offers to supply some WD-40. Hurray! That does the trick.

You think this is the end? I don't.


Mongrel said...

It never came into my mind to read you still to use these portable canisters.
How terrible uncomfortable.
In our world gas comes by pipeline, no strange constructions along the wall or canisters which go empty at the wrong time.
At the end of the year there is a request of the gas company to write down the cubic metres of gas I have used and that's it.

Fred said...

I remember when I lived in the UK, I had to fill out a form swearing I wasn't a terrorist before they'd give me gas for my grill.

I think you're right. It never ends.