Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Your Mama Doesn't Live Here

As we were heading out for sushi tonight, Flip noticed a gas can in the building garage. The garage is at street level and our apartment, which is considered the first floor, is actually up a flight of stairs and next to the one above the garage. The couple who park their SUV by the gas can are chain smokers who toss their butts all over the garage floor. Fire and gasoline do not constitute a recipe for good health, so after dinner I wrapped the gas can in a large garbage bag and drove it to a dumpster by the bay. I wonder how long it will be before someone misses it.

Just for the record, I do not normally steal other people's property but I justify the deed because whoever left it there does not have the right to endanger everyone in the building. I assume it belonged to the SUV couple who have loud drunken parties every Saturday night, sometimes during the week as well. They stink up the building with their cigarette smoke, and are patently unconcerned with the comfort of others. The female half of the couple has "Connie the Great" typed on her mailbox label, and the male half often drapes his wet suit right on top of my plants on a table in the garden, so asking them to remove it would have accomplished nothing except perhaps being treated to a bird flipping.

Besides, what could be a better ending to a lovely evening than a little after-dinner petty larceny?


nick said...

You were quite right to remove the gas can which as you say was endangering everyone's lives. Sometimes direct action is a lot more effective than trying to get the authorities to do something.

the walking man said...

I do hope you used the gas in the can in your car to transport the empty can?

By the BY an empty can of fumes is much more dangerous than a full can. You could throw a lit cigarette into a full can and it will put the thing out but if there are vapors from the empty it will explode.

Molly said...

I found myself thinking it would have been better to have dropped it off at a gas station......toxic waste and all that. But much better to get it out of there than wait for an explosion!

thailandchani said...

Well, Harlan Ellison is proven right again and again when he says "the two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity". It never ceases to amaze me that so many people don't consider the consequences of their actions.

Connie The Great, indeed!


heartinsanfrancisco said...


Afterward, I was concerned about throwing it in an empty dumpster. I probably could have found a better place for it but wanted it out of my car as fast as possible.


I did not use the gas, but I have a confession. The can had only a bit of gas in it and a long nozzle - saying it was full was an exaggeration, but I had no idea that was more dangerous.


I agree. I could have handled it better but gave more thought to the ethical aspects of taking another's property than to proper disposal until after the deed was done. The dumpster was so tall the thing had to be hurled upward to get in so I couldn't retrieve it.


I often think of that quote, but I'm sure there is more stupidity than hydrogen.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

...and you are Guilty With An Explanation once again... ;o)
but at least you are honest and pro-active.

HA ha ha... such a funny girl.

Great job! I can see you now, Red cape flying, huge "S" emblazoned across your torso, righting the wrongs of all the oxygen wasting stupid people in the universe...


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

nick said...

Chani's quote reminds me of Einstein's: "There are two things that are infinite - the universe and human stupidity".

Angela said...

hee hee. I love it.

seventh sister said...

Grand theft gas can.....wonder what the penalty for that is? don't blame you though.

The CEO said...

Considering that there was a small amount of gass in the bottom of the can, I congratulate you on removing a bomb from your garage. They need to give an IQ test to people wanting to live in your building. Like asking about leaving gas cans in the garage.

The Fool said...

You make me smile. We are all our own law.

That said - congratulations on your exploits, avoiding conflict, and not getting caught. Though I am sure you folks would have made a lovely couple at the station.

Love your ending line. Everyone should try it. ;)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Is that big emblazoned "S" for Scarlett or Susan?


It reminded me of Einstein's quote, too. I've always loved it.


That's because it wasn't your gas can.

Thank you for coming by!


I'm afraid I'm incorrigible. I cannot be corridged.


If an IQ test were required, most of San Francisco would be empty.

No fool,

Thank you for the vote of confidence. I have always believed that we are all our own law but that happily, it usually coincides with everybody else's law.

the walking man said...

Hearts...Before fuel is burned in an engine the delivery system vaporizes it, Anytime you read or hear of any industrial fires no matter the source...it is the vapors that exploded. Liquid gasoline for example if you put a lit match to it ...it is the vapors rising from the evaporation that is the fuel. If the can was only partially full then hell yes it was a bomb waiting for a spark.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Super Susan... but we are in the same club, I have an S on my uniform, too.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

meno said...

It would sure have been satisfying if their stuff had exploded, but not so much of it was your stuff too.

Practice your innocent look in the mirror.

Pam said...

I feel for you. As a couple we have shifted many times in our lives, and some of the neighbours have been in this category.Now that we are renting I don't feel "locked in" to this sort of situation, and strangely enough we have the best neighbours ever! Well done with the gas can, I'd do the same.

Jameil said...

omg i LOVE after-dinner larceny.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Flip told me the same thing. I had no idea, I just knew that it was dangerous and wanted it out of here.


Are you up for a little scaling tall buildings in a single bound?


I don't need to practice. I can always play the sweet little old lady card. ;)


We have bad neighbor karma. When we owned a house, our nearest neighbor was a gun toting dog beating redneck, and while there are some nice people in this building, the others seem to dominate.


So, does that mean you'd like to play next time?

Los Angelista said...

"The female half of the couple has "Connie the Great" typed on her mailbox label"

She does not??? Oh lordy, it's the apocalypse when folks start putting stuff like that on mailboxes! I'm glad you tossed the can. What idiots!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

You did a public service. Better a can of gas end up in the dumpster than any loss of life. Now, if someone could just educate the smokers to use ash trays...

Anonymous said...

Three-cheers for you for doing what you did. The thoughtlessness of some people is amazing.Walking Man's comment about empty gas cans is absolutely true, of course.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yep, "Connie the Great Last Name."

If only we could have a SELECTIVE Apocalypse.

St. Nick,

They're way too cool for that - that's why they smoke. (Which in my view is further proof of their idiocy.)


Yes, Mark is generally right. He knows stuff. :) And Flip said the same thing, which was why he agreed to accompany me on the mission, even though he is a straighter arrow than I am.

Voyager said...

Well done. Social niceties be damned where your immediate safety is in jeopardy. Social niceties apparently mean nothing the smoking Bozos anyway.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Absolutely, but not in a mini-skirt or spandex.

I'll need to do lunch with my costume designer before we go traipsing off to right wrongs.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

I love your social concience, really. I say bravo to you!

Warty Mammal said...

LOL. Excellent.

Besides, what else were you supposed to do - go knocking door-to-door asking "Is this your hazardous material?"

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm sure they have never heard of the concept and although I have, safety trumps all.


No spandex? But, but, but... Oh, fine, then. We'll be stylish superheroines and kick some fashionable butt.


My social conscience is automatically activated when I'm in danger.


I wonder if they lie in bed at night asking each other, "Whose cute little hazardous material is this?"

Jocelyn said...

It's wrong--even criminal--of me to wish you'd been able to wrap that couple in a garbage bag and tote them to a dumpster by the bay, right?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Girls will be girls, and you'll look so cute in your orange jumpsuit just like mine. But that dumpster a deux should be IN the bay, not by it.

On a limb with Claudia said...


My crazy aunt had 5 - yes 5 - gas cans filled with leaded gas from the 1970s gas crisis. She stocked up.

I'm glad you stole the thing - they forgot it like my aunt forgot hers.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I didn't steal it -- I relocated it, just so we're clear about that.

Dare I ask what happened to your aunt?