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Tales of Christmas past...
Old 12-25-2006, 07:54 AM   #1
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Tales of Christmas past...

I heard an interesting story at neighbor’s Christmas party. We were admiring the fireplace at the host’s house when one spouse spoke up to tell about her husband’s first experience with a “modern” fireplace.

They had only been in their new home a few weeks, Christmas was approaching, and the weather had finally turned cold enough to use the fireplace. Although he grew up on a dairy farm, they’d had no fireplace so he was not especially skilled at starting a fire other than to cook on the backyard grill. He did know enough to open the flue, which he did before loading logs onto the grate. He had noticed a circular brass fixture set into the brick to the right of the fireplace, with a metal key inserted into the square in the center, but hadn’t given much thought to its purpose. Just then in dawned on him: this fireplace was equipped with a vent allowing in outside air, preventing the heated air in the house being sucked up the chimney. He turned the key to open the vent.

Having no clue that he had just turned on the gas to the fireplace lighter, he headed for the garage to find his can of charcoal starter fluid. After returning to thoroughly douse the logs, he went into the kitchen for matches. He returned and lit the logs.

She and her husband disagreed on how many bricks the explosion blew off the chimney. She said it was the entire top portion, he said it was “only a few”. They did agree the force of the explosion propelled the bricks 50 yards or more.

Numbers is hard

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...
Old 12-25-2006, 08:19 AM   #2
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...

He could have been a candidate for a Darwin award. He was lucky.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...
Old 12-25-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...

Ok now I can tell this story, yes the wood fireplace with green wood!

Father in law 20+ years ago big DRINKER

Older home nice fireplace..

Green wood New Years day smokin not really burning..

many drinks in him, 5pm football on the TV

House full of family

He walks into the garage, with coffee can

returns with coffee can pours it on the wood pile in fireplace..

says wait a min

Lights match

Woosh..Nice fire

I walk outside Blue flame 10 feet above the chimney nice look at dusk, 10 degrees outside, roof catching on fire.

Fire dept called

House and roof saved,

Chimney, 5 feet was destroyed.

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Re: Tales of Christmas past...
Old 12-25-2006, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...

I grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody else's business.

There was one guy whose name was always followed by: "He started a fire in a fake fireplace."
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...
Old 12-27-2006, 05:20 AM   #5
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...

BIL this Christmas ran out of tape to wrap presents.
Sis says, "Here, use this double-stick tape.."

Him, later: "...the presents are all sticking together..."

Past BIL stories:
-Ran screaming that the coffeemaker was going to explode (after adding water when it was still hot).
-Helpfully sliced onions for us (without taking off the skin first).
-Him: "Why is this knife so dull!?!" (Us: "Because you are holding it upside down.")

This is a 40-year-old currently in law school.
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...
Old 12-27-2006, 06:37 AM   #6
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...

My favorite BIL story,

Buys my sister her first microwave oven for Christmas.
Adds a new outlet in the kitchen for the microwave
Plugs it in and POOF.
Learns he wired the outlet for 220 VOLTS

He's now 60 and just got a new $240K, 30 year mortgage.
100% retired and working hard at it.
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...
Old 12-27-2006, 11:41 AM   #7
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Re: Tales of Christmas past...

Many years ago, a neighbor of my parents wanted to get rid of his Christmas tree. He shoved it more or less whole up the chimney and put a match to it.


Lots of entertainment for us neighborhood kids watching the firetrucks, police cars, etc. etc.

(Same guy took his small plane to Alaska a few years ago. Flew into a thunderstorm and was never seen again... Sad to see him go, but not really too surprising...)

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