Thursday, November 3, 2011


I left the house to go to the store... 15 minutes tops!
I thought it would be no problem to leave t in the shop...
because his dad, T was there too.

I told T that I was going.
He said
"No problem."

Cool beans.

I arrived home and all looked well.
A car pulled in behind me.
It was t's mom, K.
As I gathered my stuff up...
K walked past me and tapped on the shop door...
it immediately began its lift up and in.

K had a smoke in her hand...
the reason she did not enter through the house.
My first thought was 
"Where's Roxy?"
because there was nothing to keep her from escaping
thru the magic wall that goes up and down.
I hopped out to block her exit path.

T was still out back,
so t must have pushed the button
that operates the door.
He is only 8 and can't reach the buttons on the wall in the shop.
I'm 56 and I have to stand on tip toe.
I looked around.
Sure enough, I had left the remote on my table.
No harm done.

K borrows a couple of potatoes from me
and she and t leave for home.
T tells me that the weirdest thing happened...
that the magic wall had risen on its own
and stopped about a foot and a half off the floor.
He said he freaked out until he found Roxy in the house, sleeping.
Roxy had missed her golden opportunity to flee.

I decided not to mention my remote.
t is a good kid and a kid does kid things.

T goes back to work on the patio.
I sit down to watch the TV and hear a hum.
I look around and see the surround sound remote laying on
the man's table saw.
We keep it in a roll top shelf with the surround sound.
I open the shelf roll and sure...
the machine is on, empty.
The dials are all turned funny.
t must have tried to turn it on manually before using the remote.
I click it off and put the remote back
before rolling its cover down.
The man will have to readjust the buttons.

When I click my remote for the TV
I Carly laughs at me.
I don't watch that show.
But whatever, 
t is a kid and its a kid show.

T finishes his project and says good night.
I am alone in the shop now.
I like to be out here away from the sleeping man...
where I can make as much noise as I want.

*   *  *  *
It gets cold out here this time of year.
So yesterday morning the man surprised me with a new heater.
Because it is a wood shop,
we needed to buy a heater that would not combust sawdust,
and is cool to the touch.

This heater is special in that it has a closed system
for the elements that heat.
However it has a filter and does suck in air.
For that reason we have a nice thick cover for it when
the dust making machines in here are running.
We have to wait until the dust settles to run it again.
No clogged filter!

The heater came with a programmable remote.
(Oooh... foreshadowing!)
It is a smart heater that can be
 turned on or off in a variety of ways.
I dislike special functions...
I like "OFF" and "ON".
"UP" and "DOWN".
That way I know its off or on because I did it then and there.
No relying on the machine to get it right.

Not in a wood shop.
We fear fire here.

I walked the man to his truck...
my end of the night ritual begins this way.
He says
"Please be sure you turn that heater off before you go to bed...
and wait until the fan stops to be sure its off."
I promise.
I watch him back out of the driveway and wave.
I wait until I can't see the lights anymore, then go inside.

I follow my ritual and make sure all is locked up tight.
Roxy says she does not want to listen to music.
I leave her to guard her dog bed...
and enjoy a CD in the shop.
When it is almost over, 
I turn off the heater.
The music ends and the fan turns off...
I trundle off to bed.

Morning arrives.
Before I prepare the man's diner...
I open the shop door to turn on the heater
so that it can warm things up a bit
while I cook.

My kitchen is fairly cool...
maybe 58*
The shop is 75*
There sits the heater doing some cooking of its own.
This is a very bad thing.

I freak out.
I push the off button.
I get thoughts;
What if I had put the cover on it when I was sure it was off?
How much electricity had I wasted?
Is not telling the man something a lie of omission in this instance?
How had I possibly not turned it off when I pushed the off 
button and waited for the fan to stop?
I know I turned it off.

While I sat and questioned my sanity...
I turned on The Sopranos and sipped my coffee.
When the second episode came on...
so did the heater!

Was it demon possessed?

I hit the off button again.
I get the manual and begin to read
in the trouble shooting section.
A much saner answer awaited me there.

I followed the directions and punched buttons on the remote...
to the set timer function.
Busy little t had programed it to 
automatically turn on 30 minutes after being shut off.
I fix the problem.

I tell you what...
tonight when I go to bed...

I'll unplug the thing.
And the next time I see little t...
we will have a serious talk
about what could have happened.


  1. Kids get into everything when they aren't supervised. Little t got busy while big T was busy. Glad no serious harm was done.

  2. Cube- That is so true. And if there is a button to push, it begs to be pushed. Next time he comes over, I'll put the remotes in the kitchen cupboard where he can't reach. Remove the temptation.

  3. oh goodness, that is a bit of a scary situation. glad you got it figured out and i hop et gets the lesson.

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  5. Jeez... and yikes. Still, God watches over the little ones, and (usually) makes sure they don't burn the house down. I suppose He watches over the deserving too, and (usually) makes sure your house doesn't get burnt down through something you couldn't have known.

    Funny, as a kid, my house did burn down. Well, not all the way down, but we were burnt out for December and January. Furnace problem. I was home sick with flu that day.

    It was an old converted coal furnace you had to light manually in the am... open the door, light up a scrap of paper and toss it in. First one up gets the job. Boy it could be cold in the mornings.

    Having owned old furnaces myself, in hindsight, I suspect perhaps my less-than-handy Dad learned the hard way you have to put water in the boiler.

    I just replaced yesterday our 85 year-old boiler (!). It still worked, but it was hella x-pensive to run. I'm hoping the expense will be reflected in a much lower gas bill. We'll see.

    Btw, love that capital T and small t. Heh, heh. And I have to say, I think iCarly is actually a pretty funny show... much better written than that Disney garbage. It's like Seinfeld for tweeners.

    ("writted"... sheesh ;-)

  6. You're right - kids do kid things.

    But I think silence is the better part of valor - I wouldn't tell.

  7. lime- I won't be hard on him, just let him know that I don't want him to fiddle with it and that it could have caused a dangerous situation. I was one of those kids who had to fiddle with things too. I'm sure if he knows, he will avoid using it.

  8. Cricket- Oh no! We had hot water heat, through our water heater. No boiler to light. Very cheap.
    Glad you all got out of it okay!

    Good luck with the new system, but sorry about the added cost. Hopefully it will pay for itself over time.

    I have seen iCarly many times with Turkey, who loves it. It is a cute show. I agree the stuff that Disney stinks. I don't like the attitude the kids on their shows have and prefer that Turkey doesn't pick that up. But iCarly has some funny situations and some good basic ethics to pass on. Just not my personal choice.

    BTW, I had been watching Criminal Minds, which is not a kid show. I can't blame him for wanting to turn off a show about the sort of monsters who do exist. The world is scary enough for kids.

  9. secret agent woman- That is a great way to look at it. The man's shop is sacred to him. No harm done. I will explain to t why he can't use that remote though.

    BTW I was one of those kids myself... always curious and always touching things to see how they work. I don't want to stifle that in t. He is a basically good kid.