Thank you to the many folks who asked if I was okay since I haven’t posted in so long.  Ohhhhh – my only excuse is a severe case of writer’s block due to the untimely demise of MY computer. I have been using my son’s desktop computer and it’s just not MINE – if you know what I mean. I just hope there’s a special place in Hell for those jerks who think that creating and unleashing computer viruses is funny.

So much has happened lately in The City in the Park. So much I want to talk about. But let’s start slow.

The flap about firewood storage has really fired my curiosity, and imagination. I have so much to write about that, as well as related issues that came about during my research on firewood and Rats, Rodents, and Other Vermin. But at the moment I think you all should know about a disturbing experience I had.

 As I said before, during the cold evenings I love having a big crackling fire in my fireplace. Now, when we first started talking about fireplaces the issue was that The City, who is deathly afraid of Rats, Rodents, and Other Vermin, dictated that our firewood be stacked no less than 18″ above the ground. For some reason still unclear to me, but which we will examine in-depth in future posts, The City firmly believes that Rats, Rodents, and Other Vermin can not reach anything that is a foot and a half from the ground. That is so silly that it will not go unchallenged, but later. I want to stay on track and tell you about my personal firewood experience. This will shock the more sensitive, so be forwarned.

I store my wood on a standard metal rack which suspends firewood  about 8″ from the concrete pad it sits on (illegal – I know – just be patient and I’ll explain). Now, this firewood is clearly in view of the public street, so I knew that it was only a matter of time before City Surveillance would get around to giving me a citation. But, I also knew that I would be using all that wood up soon, so it was a race – who would get to me first: Code Enforcement or Jack Frost? 

Now, as I explained before, I try not to buy firewood, for two reasons:

1 – it’s expensive, and with the constant tree trimming in The City I can pick up lots of great wood for free. But, more importantly:

2 – since The City does not embrace Going Green like other cities I know that wonderful expensive wood is going to go to the landfill. I do embrace Going Green and know that if I pick this wood up, burn it, and put the ashes in my compost pile I am doing a good thing for Mother Earth. I also get some really good exercise.

So, to make a short story long, I had a bunch of rather large chunks of tree stumps and stuff that needed to be split so I could burn it. I told you before that The City decreed that I store those huge stumps on the firewood rack. Hee hee – I know – at the time they didn’t say anything about the height of my firewood rack, they were just mad because I was trying to dry the stumps on end on a concrete pad. I swear, though – my cats and I check the wood often (it’s very close to my back door) and never found evidence of Rats, Rodents, and Other Vermin on a tree stump, so we were secure in the knowledge that we were not harming the citizens of Farmer’s Branch.

Ah – until I rolled those stumps from the rack onto the ground so I could split them.  I found:

  • A Quarter
  • Two Pennies
  • A writable CD

Yes – I am not exaggerating – that is what I found in my firewood stack. Oh No. It was obvious what was going on. At first I was frightened, then insulted: Did those Rats, Rodents, and Other Vermin really think I would sell out MY CITY for $0.27?

I’ll admit, I kept the 27 cents, but I threw the CD away without listening to it.  I did: really, I swear. Because you and I both know what was on that CD: a clever message from the Rats, Rodents, and Other Vermin, trying to get me to store my firewood within reach of their nasty little paws. But I was too smart to fall for that. And I’m telling you this story so that you too will be vigilant. I have always heard that Rats are very clever creatures, but I did not know that they were that clever. But look – here’s proof of the lengths they will go to for their diabolical schemes :

Be on guard. They could try to influence you next.