The smell of gasoline

I don’t think I’ll ever get the smell out of gasoline out of my head.

I don’t mean my mind, as in my thoughts or memories (though it’s been seared into those, too). Rather, I mean my cranium, my skull, my head cavities.

That’s because last weekend I took it upon myself to remove the leaky gas tank on my 1971 MGB Mk II – and I went about it in mostly all the wrong ways.

While it’s a small tank, holding no more than 10 gallons, it was nearly full when I embarked on this fume-filled journey. And it had no drain plug. So I decided I’d have to pump it out.

And being both stubborn and cheap, I decided that I’d hand pump the contents of the tank into a couple jerry cans. This meant a trip to Harbor Freight, where I purchased a $7 rubber ball-style hand-pump.

My first inclination this was a ill-conceived plan should have been when the checkout lady warned me, “You gotta call the number on the back.”

“What?” I replied.

“If it breaks, you can’t bring it back here. You gotta call the number on the back.”

I rolled my eyes and thought, “Don’t worry, Darlene, I’ll be fine.”

Slam-cut to me haphazardly squirting about a quarter-gallon of gas into a jerry can between my knees before the pump crapped out. Being the industrious man that I am, and never one to quickly throw in the proverbial towel, I decide to syphon the gas out using my mouth.

Anyone who’s ever tried this method of fuel removal already knows how this story ends. With one slurping, deep inhale on the clear plastic hose, I knocked out my sense of smell, taste, and likely what little geometry still lingered in my memory. This, all without getting any fuel out of the tank.

I eventually got the gas out of the tank, into a couple cans by jury-rigging another hand pump, and installed the new fuel tank.

And while my MG is now back on the road, all my meals taste like 92 octane. So, I’ll chalk it up as a partial success.