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Monday, February 8, 2010


To take advantage of the tax credit last fall, we had a new furnace installed.

--Thank God that’s over. I thought the plaster would fall off the walls.
--It took all day. Yes, the drilling was loud. Poor Chelsea had her resigned look.
--She has many resigned looks.
--I mean the one of reproachful resignation. The one that says, “I’m a helpless beast obliged to live with people who have lost their minds.”
--It was just the one guy, essentially. Tom. Working all day. He had help this morning for about forty-five minutes, that’s all.
--You have to admire him.
--I do. Of course I admire him. Anyone who has trouble operating a hose caddy is bound to admire such people.
--What do you think he was, Rumanian? Greek?
--Albanian. He had Albanian eyebrows.
--All that work. He couldn’t have been over five-five.
--If that. I went down after lunch. You should’ve seen all the tools. He must have had twenty different things spread out on the floor.
--Anyway, here’s to our new furnace.
--To our new high efficiency, top-of-the-line Lennox furnace.
--And to the tax credit.
--And the rebates from the utilities.
--Is it on? It’s so quiet it’s spooky.
--A stealth furnace. Maybe that’s where the energy savings come in, from noise abatement.
--Or it just seems that way, from the drill stopping all at once.
--No, I think it really is much quieter.
--Do you feel anything for the old furnace? It did well by us all those years.
--We’ll see. I may feel a great deal for it when we’re freezing this winter. When we’re learning the after-market reality behind the meaning of “energy efficient.”
--We should have had a little ceremony. A proper goodbye.
--I see what you mean.
--I’m serious. The thing chugged away down there for twenty-five years.
--That’s just us. Who knows how long it was there before we came?
--It never asked for anything. Never complained or broke down.
--Never flooded the lavatory.
--That’s exactly what I mean. A loyal family retainer, a loyal servant.
--It’s true. Aside from changing the filter and having it cleaned, we did nothing. Our old furnace never caused us one bit of trouble.
--What have we done?
--Try not to think about it.
--We threw it out as though it were nothing. Like garbage. We just threw that nice old furnace on the ash heap of technology, and for what?
--A tax credit.
--So shabby.
--Drink your wine. Try to imagine all the old furnaces being melted down and turned into new furnaces.
--Like the Phoenix.
--Like Ripley in the Alien franchise. Here’s to furnace resurrection.

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy I discovered you.
    Interesting post!

    I like the idea of a "stealth furnace".

    Great blog!
    I'll be back.


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