The Beanie Queen interviewed Gary the Gas Man and discovered that being a gas guy requires strength and agility, and a love of man’s four-legged friends.
Lily: Everyone says honey works better than vinegar. If I run out of gas, am I more likely to get my gas delivered first if I swear and kick up a stink, or if I’m nice about my lack of gas?
Gary: This is one time where nice girls come first.
Lily: Just how heavy is a full gas bottle?
Gary: Ninety kilograms. That’s like trying to pick up your husband and move him up a flight of steps while (if he’s on the skinnier side of average) he’s carrying a six-pack of beer.
Lily: What’s the best gas joke you know?
Gary: Anything with a fart in it.
Lily: When you arrive to deliver a gas bottle and there’s a dog untethered in the yard, snarling, what do you do?
Gary: It kind of depends on the dog. If it’s a big ugly gnarly dog, I open the gate and let the mongrel out. If it’s more of a yappy, snarling lap-dog I call its bluff. Their bark is just about always worse than their bite. If it’s big enough that I don’t want to let it out in case it takes a chunk of my leg, I phone in to HQ and tell them to tell the customer they can jam their gas bottle you know where.
Lily: What’s the most grateful a client has ever been when you’ve delivered their new gas bottle?
Gary: I got a bottle of wine once (only once). I got a block of chocolate too around Christmas time, but I wasn’t certain if it was left for me, or not... Then I figured it was on the gas bottle, so I ate it anyway. Anything left on the gas bottle is fair game. It’s funny how many people (particularly older people) come out when I’m carting or connecting the gas bottle(s) to have a chat. There’s some great older customers. I like to spend a few minutes with them if I can.
Lily: Have you ever delivered gas to a woman who has greeted you wrapped only in a towel?
Gary: Unfortunately not. I’ve had a few bath robes though.
Lily: What are the traits of a good gas man?
Gary: A deep need to help people in their time of need. Friendly. Strong. Don’t let little things piss you off. Ability to read a map is always good as some of these places are impossible to find! It helps if you can reverse a truck down some pretty twisty/steep/crappy access roads too, without wiping out the client’s favourite rose bush.
Lily: What’s the most unusual thing that has happened to you on the job?
Gary: I’ve lost a couple of dogs that have got out when I’ve opened gates. I’ve chased a couple of dogs to get them back in the yard. Fucking dogs.
Lily: Who are the most unusual people you’ve met on the job?
Lily: Do gas men have their own jargon?
Gary: There’s a pig-tail. That’s the brass line which hooks the bottle to the regulator. It’s curly like a pig’s tail until you unfold it. Bit boring really in’t it?
Lily: How do gas men like to unwind after hauling gas bottles all day?
Gary: I usually like to go to the gym and smash out a few sets. Either that or go home and smash down a few beers.
Lily: What do gas men dislike (i.e. it makes their job harder)?
Gary: Dogs not on the chain. And bricks (or anything) that have been stacked behind side gates. You wouldn’t believe the number of times there’s a handy side-gate right where the gas bottles go, except that gate is jammed shut and so I have to circumnavigate the entire house in the opposite direction, to reach the same point.
Lily: What could householders do to make your job easier?
Gary: Get rid of all dogs (or at least chain them up on gas delivery day).
Lily: Which celebrity would you like to see cast as a gas man in a movie?
Gary: George Clooney.
Lily: Gas men are good at moving heavy bottles in confined spaces. Could you imagine this skill coming in handy in a romance novel?
Gary: I’m sure if there’s a damsel in distress underneath a collapsed building, or somewhere where the gas bottle has fallen on her, my skills would come in handy. About the only other thing I can think of is scuba diving. Or scuba diving in a cave.
Lily: What do you think is sexy about gas men?
Gary: Their IQ.