Friday, March 14, 2014


It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  It was an ergonomic train wreck, a simultaneous convergence of sad circumstances despoiling our home-heating utopia.  It was the face-off between the voracious wood-burning outdoor furnace and the indoor oil glutton.  In the middle stood a man for all seasons, mostly winter, who had hewn and split food for the former and kept on a diet the latter.

The wood furnace who got us through the winter
after eating every stick of wood in Mathews

Last night I returned to bed and heard him rise and proclaim, "You don't even know when the furnace is out."  Indeed I did not, but had I known I would have still gone to bed and accepted his put-down as some distorted form of "goodnight."

Unknown to me, he had disconnected the wood furnace and flipped the switch on the oil burner, who leaped with relish upon his first opportunity to show Husband his resentment by clogging up and sputtering out.  At 8 AM, I hear husband fussing in the kitchen about having to make a trip in the seafood truck, "...and I'm out of wood, and the @#$%*!* oil furnace is broken down, and I don't care!"

"Good Morning and have fun!," I sang out like a canary in a coal mine.  The dismal cloud followed Husband to the car and soon they were out of sight.

Oil Furnace having jealousy issues.

As I had my first cup of decaf, I felt a little like Oil Furnace, amused at the whole matter, and even a little satisfied.  Neither of us was informed by Husband before he installed the "Backyard Bimbo," as Oil Furnace dubbed him.  Neither of us deliberately engaged sabotage, but do see the a little bit of "go around, come around" here.

On the next try, Oil Furnace blasted forth heat and saved the day.  All is forgiven.


  1. Well, I am so glad the avaricious Oil Furnace has blasted forth at last, because you had me laughing throughout the entire post.
    Your devoted fan, LLColeman

  2. I naively called him early the morning this event took place, and he was unusually distressed--which I picked up on as soon as he answered the phone. This was the second time he's sounded so upset--I thought something was wrong physically. The last time he sounded this bad, he dropped the f-bomb when telling me about how "someone" left the kitchen windows open after a minor kitchen fire, and how "someone" forgot to close the windows and how cold it was in the house. It seems we may have unearthed some information here. If you truly want the upper hand and, for whatever reason, feel the need to irritate him, be party to heat escaping (or not entering) the house. (p.s. I am not trying to stoke any fire other than the furnace, whichever one happens to be working at the moment.) (P.S. Please tell him there are no more trees left to cut down in my yard.) Thank you.

  3. It was unseasonably warm the day of the overgrilling of the hamburger. Therefore there seemed no burning necessity to close the window just as Husband has never a need to flush the commode after weeing. I am grateful for the suggestion for my passive/aggressive side, who already enjoys the one day a week he is gone to Harrisonburg (in summer) to open up the air conditioner to full blast and unite all the rooms in chilling protest to his parsimonious Scrooge side. Perverse, ain't I?