Danny Hooper Productions

How to find a buried gas line

It started off as a fairly straight-forward spring project. Our neighbour is demolishing the old house next door (to make way for his version of the Modern Museum of Man) and offered us a beautiful wooden gate structure that we agreed would dress up the front of our little 1965 bungalow. We could have the gate for FREE on the condition that we move it ASAP. One call to Mike the Handyman and the project was underway. A crane truck arrived at sunrise the next morning, as did Mike the handyman with his little Bobcat excavator.

Fast forward: Matt has just hit a buried gas line with his excavator and is now headfirst down a deep hole trying to crimp the ruptured line with a pair of pliers and a coat hanger. He is a brave man; you can hear the gas hissing wildly.

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The crane operator has run down the block seeking shelter; he is peering from behind another neighbour’s garage and has suddenly turned cranky, saying he wants to “get the hell outta here!” However, he has our gate hoisted high in the sky and will not set it down until he is paid…in full…in cash. I sense this is not his first company picnic.

Shortly, several vehicles from the gas company arrive, and countless coveralled, blaze orange-vested workmen in hard hats pour forth like a SWAT team, scolding Mike the Handyman for hitting the line, then scolding him again for trying to fix the line. The poor man cannot win. We overhear one of the workmen muttering words  like “overtime,” “costly repairs,” and a “big ass fine.” This cannot be good.

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Shortly, the line is repaired and the workmen retreat, presumably back to Tim Hortons where they will await their next 911 dispatch.

Fast forward: Several months have passed and we have not heard a word from the gas company…until today. My hands tremble as I open the envelope, and for good reason. The letter confirms that we have, indeed, been charged a “big ass fine.” I call Mike the Handyman to discuss the matter; his phone is no longer in service.

And so the moral of the story – there are two ways to find a buried gas line. One is to call the gas company. The faster option is to call Mike the Handyman. That is, if you can find him.

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