Monday, November 07, 2005

Screw You, California Air Resources Board

These jerks have imposed upon California some of the most idiotic ideas in the long, sad history of idiotic ideas. Remember MTBE? That was their brainchild. "Ooo! I have an idea! Let's put a water soluble toxin in gasoline! Sure, there's no evidence that it will reduce pollution, but doing something is always preferable to doing nothing!"

Today finds me without power once again. Life in the mountains makes a backup generator a necessity. Out I go into the rain to fuel the generator, my heart growing heavier with each step - for soon, I will face the C.A.R.B. spill-proof nozzle on my gas can. This amazing invention has the following features which make it the ideal nozzle for your favorite container of flammable hydrocarbons.

First, there is a valve you have to open in order to get fuel to come out. Actuating the valve requires that you have as many arms as Vishnu. The opening on the nozzle is on the sides, not on the end. This means that if you have the nozzle only a little way into the neck of the tank you are filling so you can see what you are doing, and you open the valve, half the fuel comes spraying out all over that generator you intend to start in 30 seconds.

It's only logical then, that you would put the nozzle all the way into the neck of the tank you are filling. Heck, perhaps you can even actuate the valve by pressing the nozzle against the gas tank opening! Except, what if the valve is smaller than the diameter of the gas tank you are filling? Well, now you've got a partially opened valve stuck in the tank, and you have to wrestle a 35 pound gas can to get it out. Or, if you are lucky and the valve does actuate on the opening of the tank, well, now you can't see how much gas is in the tank. This means that when the tank fills up the gas will come shooting out all over that generator again.

Are you following this? This lovely invention guarantees that you will spill at least half a gallon of gas anytime you attempt to fill any kind of fuel tank. Hence the name "spill-proof". I have proof that you will spill.

Of course, the motivation behind the invention of this craptacular device was to reduce air pollution by avoiding gasoline spills. What the geniuses on the California Air Resources Board don't seem to understand is that while the old way of filling tanks made it possible to spill, with care you could easily avoid spilling. Their new way makes it inevitable that spillage will occur.

If I ever meet one of these guys I'm going to have a hard time resisting the urge to cram one of these nozzles up his backside.



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