Passing Gas

Gas MeterWho knew?  Apparently, smelling gas around the meter is not a good thing.  Imagine that.

I came home for lunch to let Cody out, and while waiting for her to do her business, I remembered hearing a radio ad sponsored by the gas company.  Said radio ad stressed the need for property owners to keep the gas meter and the area around it clear of snow and ice.

So, being a good citizen, I stomped my way through the snow drifts to the meter and gently brushed the snow away.  That’s when I noticed the definite odor of leaking natural gas.  Did I panic?  Of course not.

The meter is outside the house, and so was the smell, so I merely took Cody back inside and then returned to work.  But on the way back to work, I realized that our neighbor on that side of the house is a smoker – and while he’s very careful with his matches and butts, what if an ember flew over the fence onto the leaking gas meter?

True, my house is falling apart, and I wouldn’t much care if it blew up – isn’t that why homeowner’s insurance exists?  But I would sorely miss Cody.

Once back at work, I called Customer Service at the gas company, with the intention of setting up an appointment for them to come and check things out.  I explained to the young man who took my call that the meter is inside a fenced yard, that the fence gate is locked, and both the lock and the gate mechanism are frozen solid.  I explained that I would have to be home so that the service person could walk through the house to the side door, which is behind the gate and opens into the back yard.

Imagine my surprise when the customer service rep advised that a truck was already on the way, and he began reciting the gas leak/evacuation instructions.  Say what?  I cut him off and again told him that someone would have to be there, that I was currently at work, but that I could be home in about 30 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHis responseA leaking meter is a gas emergency. The truck was already on the way, and if they found no one home, they would turn the gas off.

Excuse me?  It’s minus 3 degrees, and if the gas is turned off, the furnace won’t work.  My dog will freeze!

His responseGet the dog out of the house.

At which point, I made the panic call to my husband, whose place of employment is a little closer to home than mine.  I knew he would get there first, but I immediately left my office so that I could get there, too – it might take both of us to get Cody out of the house and into one of our cars.

About 10 minutes into my drive, my husband called to say that the gas company had already arrived, climbed over the fence, and replaced a coupler on the meter.  He told me to go back to work since everything seemed to be OK.

Halfway back to work, the phone rang again.  (Don’t worry – I have SYNC so everything comes through the car speakers without distracting me [much] from my driving.)  This time, my husband told me that he had just gone back outside and could still smell gas – he could smell it from several feet away from the meter whereas earlier I could only smell it after brushing the snow away.  Not good.

This time, hubby called the gas company, and they sent out another service person.  The second service person advised that the first person had not tightened everything properly.

Now, I can understand wanting to take shortcuts on your job when it’s minus 3 degrees outside.  I can understand a mail carrier maybe skipping a house or two, or the news carrier throwing the paper from the street instead of walking up to the house.  But a gas company worker?  Really?

Well, to end a story that somehow got longer than I intended – we no longer smell gas around the meter, and we did not have to evacuate.  All’s well that ends well (if you’ll excuse me for resorting to such an overworked saying).

PS:  On the way back to work after turning around, I noticed my new car was making a horrible noise from the rear driver’s side area.  You know, just like that thump-thump-thump when you have a flat tire – but there were no low tire warnings showing on the dash.  Fortunately, it turned out to be just a large chunk of ice surrounding the rear tire.  Hopefully, that will thaw and fall off at some point.  For now, I just turn the CD player up a little higher.


I love to hear from my readers.  You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at or


Images by:  Eddie S, and Cordelia’s Mom, respectively

This entry was posted in That's Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Passing Gas

  1. Doobster418 says:

    Great title. Reminds me of my youth when we used to put a match to our butts and light farts. (Actually, it doesn’t really remind me of my youth because I never used to light farts, although I do know that some kids did that. Maybe some kids still do.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, but I hope you read more than just the title …


      • Doobster418 says:

        Oh, I did. I read the whole thing. Every word. And I do know that if you call the gas company and say that you smell gas, they will send someone out lickity-split. Because I once smelled gas and called them and they were there within about five minutes. Too bad the first guy didn’t tighten things up enough and they had to send a second buy out there.

        By the way, a hard rubber mallet is good for removing those ice chunks that build up in your car’s wheel wells and rub against your tires. Works better that turning the CD player’s volume all the way up!

        Liked by 2 people

        • I was just teasing you, Doobster. I know you’re one of my more dedicated readers (and I thank you for that).

          As for the car, I’d be afraid I’d miss the ice and hit the body instead. I get enough dents and dings without causing them myself! And with the CD turned way up, I don’t have to listen to those annoying sirens coming up behind me. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Victo Dolore says:

    Oh, wow! That was a significant bit of drama for your day!


  3. We got a similar notice from the electric company. It advised us, among other things, to check the website if you have an outage. They don’t seem to get the “no power, no computer” connection. We are living in an age of morons.


  4. Paul says:

    Well done CM. Yep, the gas guys don’t waste any time. One of my colleagues took an opporunity to have a career with the gas company and he said they trained the service workers like Emergency Service , complete wth alarms and flashing lights and everything. ha! Pretty cool and pays very well too. I suppose the potential fall-out from not treating each report as an emergency would be unacceptable. I’m glad that you got it all straightened out and did not have to go without heat.

    That ice build up thingy that happens in wheel wells when it gets bitter cold and stays that way, is a pain. But Doob is right, a rubber mallet works well. With the big trucks we would sometimes get to a point where we would have to park the truck in a heated area for a few hours and then knock the ice off. It can get very loud and annoying but really doesn’t hurt anything – although it could interfere with steering eventually.

    Great post CM. Thank You.


    • Thanks, Paul. It occurred to me afterwards that they could very well have sent the fire department out along with the gas company truck. How embarrassing that would have been! I tried to retract my service request, but once I said “I smell gas,” it was all over.

      If the ice gets too annoying, I’ll put the car in our attached garage for awhile. Of course, then hubby would have to put his car outside, which would drive him nuts. (It’s a one-car garage.)


  5. Um…you might care if it blew up with you in it. I know I’d care 🙂


  6. Elyse says:

    My house abuts a gas pipeline — so I know how serious these guys are! But then you don’t want to blow up your dog. I know that I sometimes fantasize about it because I have a 9 month old devil dog, but I don’t really mean it. Usually.


  7. flareuphope says:

    Glad everything worked out!! I will have to check and make sure ours is cleared of snow and ice tonight


  8. Archon's Den says:

    I’m so happy it ended well.(The second time?) Gas can be dangerous, but tricky. A guy two blocks away parked his propane-powered van in his garage overnight and started it in the morning. The explosion blew away from him, opening the van like a flower, and throwing chunks of his garage across the street into a neighbor’s eight-foot high fence. He lost his eyebrows, and suffered temporary hearing loss.
    My ‘didn’t tighten it right’ came when utility workers replaced my rented, leaking water heater. After they left, and I turned the main valve back on, I had another deluge like the one I’d just sopped up. And the new crew couldn’t come out until tomorrow, so, a night without water. 😯


    • Yeah, I didn’t worry about it much at the time. And then I saw the dash cam video of that house that blew up in New Jersey yesterday. Looked like a neighborhood just similar to mine – scared the hell out of me!


  9. adamjasonp says:

    Glad no one got hurt! (And Cody.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.