Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Over-Engineered

DSC_5036As I was coming home from work yesterday, thinking about all of the snow that drifted onto the driveway during the day, I realized that my gas can was still sitting in my parent's garage. When we moved in August, there was still a gallon or two of gas left, and I didn't want to put that in the storage unit unsupervised for 5 months so I brought it over to my parent's garage. And then promptly forgot about it when we moved out.

That was going to mean a lot of extra driving around in bad weather on an evening when I was already pressed for time. So in the end I decided to take my co-worker's advice, waste some money and just buy and fill another gas can on my way home. I stopped at a Kwik Trip and braced myself for outrageous pricing. They didn't have a particularly good selection but surprisingly they weren't that expensive.

When I got home and tried to use the can though, I realized it is the most overly complex gas can I've ever seen. I was expecting a spout and an air-hole cape and that was about it. Instead, the can came completely with five steps of directions to use it.

It was a good thing they included those directions because otherwise I would never have figured it out. There's a squeeze and twist cap on the spout. Then you have to twist and compress the spring-loaded spout to vent the can. The directions made it look like the spout would lock open at that point, but it doesn't. Instead you have to wedge a little hook over the side of the gas tank opening so that you can compress the spout while simultaneously pouring out the gas. The end result of that first pouring attempt resulted in, predictably, gas all over the place, but very little in the tank.

Talk about over-engineered. I assume the whole contraption is intended to be safer in some way, but seriously, who needs a spring loaded gas can? That just sounds like a bad combination.

Looks like I'll be making sure to pick up the old, simple, can on my next trip to my parent's.

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