It was about 9.30pm. We had just got home from work, both of us exhausted. The cooking gas had run out the previous day. I had forgotten to carry the canister for a refill. Leo had sent maid packing a week ago for bad behaviour. So there were plenty of chores to share out between us. I do not like chores much especially after a day at the office.

I like to throw my legs up and watch TV and be served my supper, basically do the things that married men are famous for.

Leo wanted to boil some milk for Ethan and I did not want her to light the charcoal stove so late. Charcoal stoves are problematic.

One time the thing lights in an instant, another you spend the entire day lighting the wretched thing. I headed to the kitchen and retrieved the gas canister.

“Please do not get a dirty canister,” Leo cautioned as I grunted and left. At the petrol station, I parked by the gas section and an attendant ambled towards me. He opened the metal cage with the gas canisters and pulled out one. This thing was old, discoloured and had a bit of rust to it.

This canister had had a rough life. It must have been a soldier in the canister world; probably retired by now after countless battles. If I took it home, I would be asked many questions. “Can you get me a clean one?” I asked the equally tired attendant.

“The cleanliness does not matter.” He said. I stared at this chap trying to cause an innocent man problems. I was caught in the crossfire. This guy wanted to sell me gas in a canister that looked like it was 100 years old yet I been explicitly warned not to come home with such a canister. If I took this metalic relic home I would probably sleep at the balcony with my newfound cylindrical friend.

“Look for another one.” I demanded impatiently. I was too tired to argue about the efficacy of tired, dirty gas cylinders. The man quickly produced a clean canister. This one must have been a model in the canister world. It was shiny, clean and proper. Finally, a canister I could roll with.
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