Originally published in Arthur Magazine No. 17 (July 2005)
illo by Greg Cook
Siphon Your Way to Financial Freedom
by Dave Reeves
1. Pick your siphon
Get a clear hose, six feet long and at least an inch in diameter. Make sure you get a thick-walled hose because you are going to have to push it all the way down the gasshole of an SUV. Hardware stores sell them for about a buck a foot. Get a five-gallon gas can while you are at it.
2. Find a target
SUVs’ 40-gallon tanks are the most profitable vehicles from which to liberate gas. The sense of panic the SUV driver feels when his behemoth gets less than the normal ten miles to the gallon is an added benefit.
Try to pick a full one and don’t be deterred by silly gas tank locks which are merely cosmetic and can be turned with almost any key.
Donut shops provide great gas hunting because it’s like a law that police cars have to be all the way full all the time.
Getting caught siphoning is not cool. So pull your vehicle next to the target and open up the doors to make a little room where you can do the deed unobserved. Put your gas can on the ground in between the doors. If someone eyeballs you pretend like you are changing clothes.
4. Hose pushing
Push the hose down into the target tank till you think you hit the gas.
5. Start sucking
Start sucking on the hose and get the gas going. If you were smart and got the clear hose you’ll see the copper-colored nectar coming and be able to get the hose out of your mouth and channel the flow into the intended receptacle. If you sleep on this step your breath will smell like west Texas for no less than three days.
6. Drain the pain away
Once the siphon gets going it will flow steady and strong into your gas can.
The “Siphon Effect” can be explained with all sorts of scientifical facts about how “atmospheric pressure” maintains the vacuum you created when you sucked gas from the higher “gravitational potential energy” up in the vehicle which seeks to stabilize itself by flowing into the can on the ground, but all that bullshit obscures the fact that the “Siphon Effect” is actually just magic.
I can get five gallons in four minutes flat. That’s three bucks a minute, and you can’t make that at Walmart.