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So That’s Why My Gas Can Sucks

A few years ago I bought a gas can, who’s spout was a screaming ball of suck. Eventually it broke to a degree where it would not easily dispense gas. So I go to the WalMart looking for a new gas can, and every other gas can on the self also looks like a screaming ball of suck. When I was a kid, our gas can had a plain old spout, with a little cap on the end, and a vent, with another little cap on it. Undo both, and it just worked.

Apparently the reason gas cans suck is, like the same reason every other product that’s stopped working in a past few years sucks: light bulbs, toilets, dishwashing and laundry detergent, and washers and dryers… the list goes on: government bureaucrats.

What I want to know is how this stuff isn’t becoming major campaign issues. Is a guy like Mitt Romney so afraid of the environmentalists that he doesn’t want to stand up for the freedom to buy products that work? Do a majority of American want to buy shitty products based on questionable public good? So why no politicians using the fact that the government is ruining consumer products as a rallying cry to bring in Americans who are sick of it? Seems like a missed opportunity to me. I think a lot of Americans are hungry for a politician who will stand up for them against the bureaucrats, instead of standing up for the bureaucrats, and those who enable them, against the rest of us. I can get why someone might not want to embrace legalizing crack or heroin, where you’d likely only hear cheers from the Wookie contingent. But this seems like a no brainer.

23 Responses to “So That’s Why My Gas Can Sucks”

  1. David says:

    This is why you buy the plastic water storage cans with spout. Sure it’s not red, but when was the last time you saw the fire marshal arrest someone for putting gas in an unapproved can.

  2. SayUncle says:

    MilSurp gas cans.

  3. Boyd says:

    In the late 90’s a bought… quite a few five gallon cans with vents. I never needed more. I always just assumed gas cans still worked. ~5 years later, a friend of a friend was visiting that house and see’s them, says why don’t I sell him five for his boat. He offered a ridiculous price, I hand him two. He says “man you just can’t find vented cans…” I say “nah they have to have vents to work” and hand him one. He smiles. I keep the other two. And, while I have updated my awareness I’ve still yet to hear the beuracrateez for why not having a vent on a gas can makes it “safer”.

  4. emdfl says:

    Pull up http://www.deutscheoptik.com. They sell new mfg. “jerry” cans (and the spouts) in three different sizes. I’d go with the 10L(~2.5gal) for the lawn mower and maybe a 20L to keep it filled. Do it before the $^#$%^@% .gov figures out how to ban them like they did the(surplus) real ones.

    • Bryan S. says:

      All fine and good, but those are imitation cans, made in a Chinese sweatshop, and the paint cant stand up to the ethanol the government forced down our throats.

      Go look up the reviews on CTD, they arent good. Real NATO cans are getting hard to find, and I dont believe are allowed to be sold because they have working caps.

      These are supposed to be decent: http://www.nospill.com/

      Or you can vent it yourself….

  5. Rand Paul is trying to make this thing an issue. I hope it takes off. He had the hearing where he was bring up the broken toilets and I think he was going after CFL bulbs as well. We need more people in congress to jump on that bandwagon.

  6. Let me add another product to the list – albuterol inhalers for those of us with asthma. The generic ones used to cost $5 a piece and worked.

    Then the EPA became involved due to the use of fluorocarbons in the propellant. OMG! The ice caps will melt and the Coke polar bear will drown!

    It was replaced with the Proair HFA inhaler which does not use those evil global warming fluorocarbons. It costs approximately $40 if you aren’t on a drug plan.

    I want to know just how much global warming (if it really exists) was caused by asthma inhalers. I’d wager the answer is nil.

    The big difference is that parents of poor inner city kids where asthma is prevalent often can’t afford to get their kid’s medicine.

    Gas cans, laundry detergent, washing machines, asthma inhalers. Where and when does it end?

    • PT says:

      “The big difference is that parents of poor inner city kids where asthma is prevalent often can’t afford to get their kid’s medicine.”

      Which in my experience is the cause of 9 out of 10 pediatric visits to the ER for asthma.

  7. Ian Argent says:

    Hard to fight “it’s for the [children/baby seals],” but not impossible.

  8. mobo says:

    Yeaah, the asthma inhaler thing is outrageous. As for gas cans, I just jammed a giant screwdriver right through the center of the spout and now it works like a regular gas can.

  9. Incompetently designed, unusable products because of bureausclerosis? Yup. They annoy people. But compared to being out of work, losing their homes? Way down the list. And the Democrats will pinky swear to do better next time–honest!

  10. mobo says:

    What about workarounds to these silly regulations? Brass knuckles could be sold as paperweights. Lawn darts as tomato plant stakes. 100w light bulbs could be marketed as space heater elements. 5 gal/flush toilets as fish tanks. :)

  11. Zermoid says:

    The detergent problem is because they took phosphates out of detergent, why I don’t know as it’s natural and plants love phosphorus. What you need to do is buy TSP, Tri Sodium Phosphate, available (Until they outlaw it there too) in the hardware store. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load and you will actually have white clothes again. Altho long time grey seems to be set in to some extent the newly purchased stuff will stay white with regular use.

    • Harold says:

      Plants love phosphorus too much: eutrophication is a very real problem, as I, who grew up on a property with some small lakes, can attest.

      Don’t know how much of it comes/came from consumer detergents and if “fixing” those was better than improving sewage plants, but at least in this case the environmentalists haven’t made up an issue out of whole cloth.

      • Skeptic says:

        In each place I’ve lived I’ve checked, and the sewage treatment plant already has operating all of the equipment they need to remove all but trace amounts of phosphorus from the waste water.

        • Harold says:

          And a little Googling confirms that. So this is more hair shirt environmentalism, since humans excrete significant amounts themselves.

  12. chris says:

    I always liked the gas can I was forced to buy because there were no others available. When you put the cap in the can in storage mode when it warmed up it spewed gas out of the cap like it was designed that way. Never did get it to work so I tossed it and used an old 5 gallon oil can I found at a garage sale. Works great.

  13. Greg says:

    http://www.nospill.com/

    I was turned on to this can by someone on the PAFOA forum who does commercial lawn work. It’s more expensive, but it’s worth it!

  14. NUGUN says:

    Bought one. First use, it completely broke. Solution – break it further so it functioned like the old ones.

  15. Andy B. says:

    The part of the question “Why do people put up with this?” reminds me of another of my Old Stories. . .

    Around 1981 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania paid $350,000 for a study of the efficacy of the auto safety inspection program. The study concluded that auto safety inspection accomplished nothing at all in terms of safety, but separated consumers from something like $350 million a year in wasted [1980] dollars.

    State inspection having been a bane of my family’s existence the entire time I was growing up (remember when it was twice a year?) I thought that was a great revelation, and undertook my own private campaign to shout it from the rooftops. I wrote letters to the editor and magazine articles quoting and paraphrasing the state study. Mostly people gave me odd looks, like, why did I care about it?

    The governor’s comments on the issue were, that he would not support, and might veto, any attempt to eliminate auto safety inspection. He wanted things to remain the same. His reasoning?

    “Pennsylvanians are used to it.”

    And that’s also why people will accept products that suck, without complaining, or really wanting things any different.

    • Garrett Lee says:

      Which is why I simply ignore the inspection requirement.

    • Alpheus says:

      I suspect that the same thing is happening with so-called Daylight Saving Time. Recently a study in Indiana discovered that we actually use *more* energy, not less, because we get home earlier and turn on the air conditioning!

      Go ahead, try to end it, though!

      As for myself, I have taken to refusing to recognize it, for what it’s worth.

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