Gone Are The Good Merchants

When I first started home-brewing, I bottled my beers. There’s something almost magical about popping the cap off a cold bottle of beer that you brewed yourself, pouring it into a pint glass. I love it. But pretty quickly the hassle of putting the beer into the bottles gets old, and most brewers begin kegging. I only bottled two batches of my beer before I said eff it and bought myself some kegs. Then I went online and ordered a kit – the regulator, the hoses and attachments, and a five-pound CO2 tank.

There are smaller tanks available. You see them attached to paintball guns all the time. But when it comes to home-brewing and the like, I’m not sure you can get a smaller bottle than a five-pound. And it’s about the size of one of those large fire extinguishers you see on the wall at work. Anyway, I immediately went to the homebrew forums trying to find where I could get my tanks filled. There were a couple of places in downtown Dallas that did it – well, they swap tanks, but don’t fill your tanks. That means you have to give them your new shiny empty one and they give you one of their rusty old ones full of air. But there was nowhere real close to where I lived. And then I stumbled on a liquor store.

At the bottom of the thread I was reading someone mentioned a liquor store in Lake Dallas – where I grew up, actually – called Shax’s. And they fill your tanks for you. And they only charge two bucks a pound. That’s pretty awesome. And Lake Dallas is just right down the road from me! I was elated! So for the last year I’ve been taking my bottles (I have two of them) to be filled there at Shax’s. The lady is always friendly and gets them filled quickly for me. Cheap.

Well yesterday I went in and the owner immediately took my bottles and headed for the back. Then something strange happened. He turned effing retarded. He turned back around and came back to me, asking how big my bottles were. Red flag number one, friends. I told him they were five-pound bottles. He said, “No, these are bigger than that,” and moved to hand them back to me. I said, “No, actually, these are five pounds each. See where it’s stamped into the aluminum here? See how it reads 5#CO2 right there?”

Well, he didn’t think that was relevant. “No, it doesn’t say L-B. Ell Bee means pounds and it doesn’t say that!” I asked him, “Well, then, what do you think this five-pound see oh two means?” He continued to deny that had any relevance because the letters L and B were not present. So I tried a different approach. Okay then, how big do you think they are? “Those are fifteen or twenty pounds!” What? I said, why are you working so hard to lose this sale? This is ridiculous! It says right here on the bottles that they are five-pounds of CO2! To which he replied, “I can’t afford to lose the money! And I’ve been doing this fifteen years – I know these are not five-pound bottles.”

Okay, let’s stop there for a minute. Most of this I asked him directly, but I’m tired of quoting. But let’s break this down: if you’ve been doing this for fifteen years then:

  1. Why did you ask me how big they were to begin with?
  2. Why don’t you know if mine is 15 or 20? You said 15 or 20. Which is it?
  3. Why haven’t you seen the stamps on the bottles that tell the size?
  4. Why don’t you know that a pound sign means pounds?

Well I was literally dumbfounded. I’d never seen such idiocy and anti-logic in my life. He could not show me where it said they were fifteen- (or twenty-) pound bottles anywhere on my bottles. He could not tell me what the five and pound sign meant. He could not explain why they didn’t have the LB on there (though I could). He could not tell me how big my bottles were. But wait. Haven’t you been doing this for fifteen years? Well, friend, it looks like this is all you’ll ever be doing, because you’re dumber than a sack full of rabbit shit.

Let’s assume he is right. Let’s assume my bottles are actually 15 pounds and he fills them and I pay for five pounds each. That’s ten pounds I’ve paid for. He’s lost twenty pounds of air that weren’t paid for. How much money does that really cost him? A dollar? Seriously? But let’s say I am right. I am, by the way. But let’s pretend I am. If you fill my bottles, THEY WON’T GO PAST FIVE POUNDS YOU EFFING MORON! And furthermore, I will be back to fill them every few months, giving you repeat business. But now this dipshit is losing money – not because I’m ripping him off for some free gas, but because I will never spend another dime in his shitty store.

People who refuse to see logic when it’s shouting in their face make me angrier than – well, pretty damn angry. All I can figure is that he must have been hoping to pull one over on me. “How big are these?” Uh, I don’t know. Just fill ’em up. Whereupon he would have put five pounds in each and charged me for forty. He wanted to rip me off. And he was instantly mad when I knew how big my tanks were. Really, he was. It was like I had offended him and he was mad about it. Most ridiculous exchange I’ve ever seen. But I will never go to Shax’s again. I hope that stupid asshole goes out of business in short order, too. Avoid that place, friends.

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