'Bob' lived in a nearby village. He had an oxy-acetylene torch and a confused attitude to health and safety. When his five-foot oxygen cylinder ran out he found that the brass regulator on his spare was damaged. He didn’t like the look of it, gas welding can be dangerous, and with a perfectly good regulator on the empty cylinder, well, why not swap them over?
So, he lay the full cylinder on the lawn in the back garden, and, propped up at an angle for easy access, Bob straddled the cylinder and started to unscrew the regulator. Now, he wasn’t stupid, he knew that the swap would have to be really flippin' quick to avoid losing too much gas, so he had the good regulator right there ready by his side. He loosened the regulator with a spanner, then started to unscrew slowly by hand.
The following happened in a split second: Bob never knew just how many turns were left before 2500psi blew the regulator clean off the bottle. It fired, like an angular brass cannonball, through his Land Rover’s tailgate, continued through the driver’s seat and buried itself in the dashboard. Meanwhile, the torpedo-shaped steel cylinder shot up the garden, through two brick walls and into the kitchen. On its way, to add injury to insult, it crossed a gravel path and blasted the still-crouching Bob in the back like a shotgun. We can only imagine this scenario being retold many times in the hospital as Bob lay face-down biting a pillow, gravel pinged into a stainless steel kidney dish and assembled medical staff bit their sleeves in desperate attempts to stifle laughter. MP