My friend Greg Lewis used to say in high school: "He's so dumb, he couldn't pour pee out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel."
Courtesy of a recent five-day DTE power outage, I think I know what that apocryphal numbskull does for a living: He designs gasoline cans.
During the blackout, I spilled gasoline on myself and a running generator — neither's a good idea, kids — wasted time and money shopping, and cursed a blue streak, all because some industrial designers apparently never saw anybody pour a cup of coffee.
Seriously. How do you screw up letting gravity move a fluid from a high place to a lower one?
More important, how do you pick a can that won't turn you into a walking wick? And how did a simple tool like a gas can morph into a Rube Goldberg machine requiring three arms and double-jointed thumbs?
Bonus: Did you know there's a black market for easy-pour spouts? I can hook you up.
A good idea. Bad solutions
Here's my story:
I've had a 2-gallon plastic gas can for years. It's all I need to refuel my lawn mower and snow blower, but it was insufficient when I had to fill my generator's 7.5-gallon tank a couple of times a day to keep my house cool on 90-degree days and preserve frozen food for myself and my neighbors.
I needed 1-2 more cans. That's when the frustration began.