Skates on an octopus? Now that's an interesting metaphor and very apt in this case! What I wound up doing was butting the block against the leads then using a tool to lift the terminals into their appropriate slots. The pieces fit together well enough once assembled I just left it as-is for now (I tend not to sink too much time into meters that aren't staying in my collection).
That 1-minute demand interval must have been a nasty bug - seems the Westinghouse EMF registers had a similarly nasty demand interval bug too (infinite if I recall right?).
The municipal still has a few ancient socket type meters in use around town, mainly on streetlight services. I know of at least one other I-50 (another convertible unit even!) still chugging away, and possibly one DS (jewel bearing!) too. I bought a Duncan MFS with the steel magnets from a muni about an hour northwest from here - that one had still been in service as well.
The IOU that serves most of the rest of town has standardized on Centrons and Alphas, and the two coops on the outskirts of town are migrating towards smart meters as well, but using powerline carrier-based AMR systems (one using the Cannon 12.5kHz system, and the other, Hunt Technologies' Turtle system).
Now then, as for the failed smart meters, there were a few Alphas and kV series units in there, but many were newer L&G models - some with the built-in service disconnect.
As for models I'm looking for for my personal collection, maybe you can help. I'm looking for the earliest version of the GE I-20-S with the full metal baseplate (S/N below 17,194,000), Duncan MFS 50-amp, and early GE I-60-S (this would have the same solid face as the I-50 and the current coils would have the butyl rubber sleeving vs. epoxy). Also looking for the Roller-Smith S3.