Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Furnace That Ate Christmas

Before the Ice Age:

After Ice Age:

You'll never guess what I got for Cmas! Go on! Guess! No? Seriously? Okay. Well, maybe I should just start at the beginning.

I woke up Christmas Eve morning to find that 1) my period started, 2) there was a mysterious (and very large) crack in the picture window no one would claim, and 3) the furnace had committed suicide.

It was subzero temperatures and we managed to lure a furnace repairman to the house with promises of quintuple secret overtime, only to have him scratch his head and say, "Damn. That is one old furnace." You can guess that he said the parts weren't just not available...but actually had been extinct for decades (with the possibility of never actually having existed at all). It would be at least a week, he said, after wishing us a Merry Xmas and climbing into his shiny (and warm) Lexus.

We managed a couple of space heaters from the Pleostine Age which succeeded in making the spot they were in (and a two inch radius) hotter than the surface of the sun. We built magnificent fires in the fireplace and bundled up. Still, you could see our breath in the house and we discovered that sitting on an ice-cold toilet is never really a pleasant experience. Never.

It dipped to ten below zero that night. The next morning found us all shivering as Mr. Assassin started a fire in the fireplace. It was fun watching the kids' fingers turn blue trying to open their presents as their words hung frozen on their breath in the air above them. Two dogs and two cats claimed the fireplace as their own and defended it with rabid efficiency. A few hours later, Mr. Assassin looked at me quizzically as I placed a box of tampons next to the fire.

Mr. A: "That's flammable. You can't put that there."

Me: (My eyes opened so wide Marty Feldman would've winced) "Well, after you put the equivalent of a popsicle inside you, you can tell me what to do with a box of ice-cold tampons."

I was awake for hours. And I didn't blink for two days.

So, for a whole week, we went through ten years worth of wood until bedtime, when we had to leave the flue open all night to make sure the fire was out. This meant waking up to polar icecaps on the alarm clock and entertaining dangerous thoughts like, "I'll bet it's warmer in the refridgerator..."

But today, none of that mattered. I jumped out of bed giddy as a five-year old the day of her big trip to an all-you-can-eat Ben & Jerry's (oh, and if such a place does exist, please let me know immediately). The Furnace Guy was coming! We were going to get a new furnace! For the first time in a whole week - we were going to have HEAT! The house wasn't going to smell like burning carpet (my bad) or kerosene space heaters (the smell of which would have worried me, if I could feel anything in my arms and legs).

After what seemed like an eternity with a forever chaser of Jagermeister (ugh) we finally got it! Remember that scene in that '70's movie about that Billy Joe McAllister-Tallehatchee Bridge guy when the family gets their first toilet? It was kind of like that.

A miracle. A !@#$#@! Cmas miracle. Sigh.

Happy New Year!

The Assassin


Refhater said...

Hopefully your New Years is better than your Christmas. Thankfully you didn't also get the gift of Carbon Monoxide poisoning from the old furnace as well.

Happy 2009!

Christie Craig said...


Okay...I sorry you were so cold, but that was funny.

And I glad you got a new furnace.


Keri Ford said...

Leslie, you poor thing! Glad you got a heater now. If it's one thing I hate, is to be cold. Never have liked it, never will.

Congrats on the heat, and maybe, just maybe, Father Time will let you in on the secret of your cracked window.

Leslie Langtry said...

Oooh! Carbon monoxide poisoning! That would explain why I'm so tired all the time!!! Well, it just might be all the martinis...

Yes, it was cold, but on the bright side I had material for this here blog!

Anonymous said...

The scene with the tampons had me cracking up so bad I spit coffee all over my keyboard.

We had this happen about 3 years ago on New Year Eve Morning. We also used our Fireplace alot....

So glad you will have a happy and warm New year.



Gillian Layne said...

Priceless! My favorite Christmas gift was a new kitchen faucet. All in what you need, I think. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

Popsicle tampons. *shudder* So sorry about the polar Christmas! But I'm with CC - that was so freakin' funny!

Happy New Year!


Leslie Langtry said...

Your laughter makes it all worthwile! I mean that!

Kim Castillo said...

OMG. That is insane. Les, I'm so sorry. You totally should have called me. You and the assasins could have stayed here!

And really, icicle tampons are hilarious.

Estella said...

Too funny, about the tampons.
So glad you are now nice and warm.

Heather said...

So glad you and your family survived your polar experience and finally have heat again. Here's wishing you a better 2009!