The man at the gas station had the semblance of an Ariaria-based businessman.
The fortyish man had deep tribal marks on both sides of his head like the average Azubuike.
A round belly stretching his T-shirt and blings that seemed a little too extra for the casual shorts he wore.
You know such guys don’t play with their ‘white’ pam sandals.
His heavy Igbo accent sealed it all.
I didn’t think I’d be taking an important lesson from someone I’d already profiled as a market guy, who knew nothing beyond importing and selling building materials.
But he opened my eyes to the dangers of the regular gas cylinder we all use. The ones fitted with a burner.
Azubuike (let’s call him that) noted that it was one of the most unethical inventions that Nigerians have widely embraced.
While packing his crotch, he explained in detail that cylinders were designed by the white man to be kept outdoors, and used with a hose so it’s not in proximity to cooking heat.
According to him, it was a test of faith for anyone to have a potential explosive directly under fire burners.
Myself and other customers nodded in agreement.
He was visibly angry as he showed us the different cylinders with burners lined up for refill.
Most of them had started flaking off around the part where the burner seats.
He said it was as a result of long hours of cooking heat.
And just like that, the body of the cylinder keeps chipping away, until one tiny undiscovered hole causes a huge disaster.
To be honest, I’d never seen the cylinders with burners as a problem until now.
I have one that I use and I’m sure most of us bought it for convenience as it was a fairly cheap upgrade from the kerosene stove.
If you look at it, Azubuike wasn’t capping.
An “eiiii brother Bernard!” mishap is best avoided.
Meanwhile, thanks to Azubuike for the new knowledge.