Why did I need to duck? Yuri was finishing up and thought it might be a good idea to make sure everything was done right. After all, you do not want gas leaks; and things can happen. He asked for some soap and proceeded to lather the sponge and then covered the top and bottom of the meter with the suds. Well, he put so much soap on the meter you would not be able to tell even if there was a small gas leak. He turned around and asked me if I thought it was alright. What was I to say to the meter man, the one who does this for a living? Use less soap man or get a gas detector?
I guess the look on my face proved to Yuri that I was not completely convinced that the soap trick would detect any gas leaks due to the amount of suds he applied to the meter. The next thing I knew, Yuri lit a match and held it under the meter. I backed up and ducked. He moved that match around and when he finished, he looked at me and said, “Все нормально.” It is fine. Apparently so since he still had his eyebrows. I was thrilled to have such a meter man who was so confident in his work that he would put his eyebrows at risk.
He stepped down and was pleased with his handiwork. I thought we were all good, but then he said that he forgot the lead wire. What? He took out his thin wire and went back to the old, new meter and wrapped the wire around the bolts on the top of the meter and attached a green fastener. I asked him,”What are you doing?” He replied, “I am making sure no one can change the meter or take it.” I inquired, “Yuri, who is going to steal my meter? Who is going to change it? Do you think I would do something like that?” He shrugged, “No, not you, but you never know with the Ukrainian mentality.” I felt so much better knowing that no one was going to mess with my meter!
I told Yuri that I needed to write down the numbers from the old meter and the new meter to calculate the gas usage for next month. He said that he wrote them down on the document that I had to sign. I asked him why the new meter was not set to zero, but he was confused. Why? He told me that the numbers are right here on the paper and you take the old meter number and add them to the new meter number for the total. It is basic math.
Thanks. I got it. Yuri left and I am quite sure I made his day and he is still talking about the crazy American who asked too many questions.