The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Where there’s Smoke – there’s a Woodstove

Posted by thedarwinexception on November 22, 2006

So I have a lazy ass husband. That’s a known fact. He doesn’t like to do stuff. Well, he’s OK with “doing stuff” – it’s just getting around to it, it’s just focusing and completing the task at hand, it’s just not getting “sidetracked” when he’s trying to get something done. He also has this problem with “priorities”. If I find a workable “temporary fix”, then the task goes way down on the priority list, since I found a “workaround”. Like the kitchen sink. If I didn’t have a “workable solution” that involved the bathroom sink, well, the kitchen sink would be done by now. But once I find a way to get around the problem, the original problem isn’t so urgent anymore. If I had said “well, I can’t cook, because I have no kitchen sink”, the kitchen sink would have been fixed by now.

So….. Last year, we had a slight problem with a potential neighbor next door. When the Formerly Dead Lady’s house was still up for sale, a guy came along who put an offer in on the place. He was from Vermont, which I was really excited about, since I’m from Vermont, too, and I thought it would be great to have a Vermonter as a next door neighbor. I wasn’t so excited, though, once I actually met the guy.

He was here early one morning to do something over there, and for some unknown reason, he went insane. The first time I met him was when he came banging on my front door at like 6:00 am. Paul was downstairs getting ready for work, and, of course, the banging eventually woke me up. As I was coming down the stairs, Paul was opening the door. The Vermonter came running right into our house screaming “Get everyone out! Get everyone out! Is there anyone else in here!” Paul was like watching him run around the downstairs dumbfounded and finally he managed to catch the guy and was like “Dude! What the fuck?” The Vermonter looked at Paul and screamed out “There’s a fire! There’s smoke coming out of your chimney!” Paul looked at the guy like he couldn’t believe what he was saying and finally managed to sputter out “DUDE! I have a fucking woodstove! Of course there’s smoke coming out of the fucking chimney – are you fucking stupid?”

About this time, as I’m standing on the stairway wondering why there’s a Vermonter running through my house screaming at 6 o’clock in the fucking morning, I hear sirens. I know that this is going to get ugly really, really quickly. There’s nothing bikers hate more than cops. Well, unless it’s cops heading to your house at 6 o’clock in the morning for no fucking reason and with no warning. Paul looked at the Vermonter and said “You called the fucking fire department? Dude, that’s not cool.”

The Vermonter had finally calmed down, realizing that maybe smoke coming out of a chimney really wasn’t a cause for alarm when there’s a woodstove installed in the house, and now he was starting to be more afraid of Paul than of an impending disaster to the house. He headed towards the front door muttering “I’ll tell them, I’ll tell them”, and Paul followed him out to the front porch. It wasn’t long before he saw the obligatory police car that comes on every call when there’s a fire called in, and he started to get really pissed. He looked at the Vermonter and said “Dude! Do I *look* like someone who wants the cops at their house?” And Paul went out into the middle of the street to greet the firefighters who were already coming off of their truck with their gear in hand. Paul explained to them, quite loudly, that there was no fire, that his stupid fucking neighbor didn’t know what the fuck a chimney was for, and that yeah, they could come in and inspect the woodstove.

The end result of all this was that the Vermonter didn’t buy the house next door – I’d like to think that this little incident didn’t have any bearing on his decision to back out, but it probably was best for everyone that he did. Although the guy did prove that he would fit right in around here with teh other “intellectually challenged” residents. And also that the Fire Inspector told hubby that in order to meet “code”, we had to add another piece of pipe to the existing pipe to get it so far off the roofline. No problem. Paul went down the next day and bought another piece of pipe. And there it sat on the back porch, waiting to be installed.

Which brings us back to the present, and the fact that now it’s getting cold out, and since the pipe hasn’t yet been installed, we still can’t run the woodstove. Because, despite the fact that Paul is this “big bad rebel biker”, he won’t break the law. And the Inspector telling him that we weren’t “up to code” was the same thing to Paul as telling him it would be “against the law” to run the woodstove, and he wouldn’t break the law if his life depended on it.

SO, the pipe has been sitting on the back porch, and since it was warm out and since Kim has a heater upstairs to keep her warm if it gets chilly, and since there’s no “urgency” to getting the pipe installed, it’s been one of those things “on the list”, but way down “on the list.” Not a priority.

Well, excuse me, but it’s getting really cold in here. I asked Paul a dozen times “when are you going to install that pipe? It’s getting cold.” He says “You have the heater!” Bu, you know, that heater doesn’t throw off much heat – and it’s fucking COLD. And the heater is only upstairs – it’s not downstairs, and if I go down there – it’s *really* fucking cold.

So, since I knew that he has this internal list, and as long as there is a “workable solution” things get pushed down far, far, far down on the list – I came up with a solution. What if the heater didn’t work? How far back up on the priority list would the woodstove pipe go? To the top of the list? Only one way to find out, right?  I unplugged the heater and put it in the back room. When Paul came home form work he came upstairs and said “Wow! It’s cold in here! Where’s the heater?” I said “The heater isn’t working. I think it got burned out.” He said “Oh No! Damn! I guess I’ll have to take tomorrow off and install that woodstove pipe! You can’t be up here with it this cold”

Yesterday he took off from work and installed the woodstove pipe and we now have a roaring fire and it’s warm.

Did the ends justify the means? Was I wrong to do this? I feel guilty now, and I want to bring the heater out and plug it in and go “Look! I must have been wrong! It works now!” But, on the other hand, I know for a fact that pipe wouldn’t have gotten installed until there was two feet of snow on the ground and I was blowing fucking smoke rings with my breath.

And now I just have to figure out how to “accidentally” break the bathroom sink.  

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One Response to “Where there’s Smoke – there’s a Woodstove”

  1. Dan H. said

    How about dropping something down the bathroom sink?
    Something small and valuable, a ring prehaps.

    Now you don’t want to wash it down the drain do you?
    Better not use the bathroom sink any more.
    no vittles for hubby. So sad.

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