Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yeah, the Heat Thing

I spoke too soon when I waxed enthusiastic about how warm it is in this house. I mean, it's still warmer without heat than my last two houses were with heat, given my parsimonious habits and limited purse, but still: there's no actual heat and it snowed today. There's a furnace, or, actually, a boiler, and a giant and intimidating propane tank out in the yard near the orange barrel of used oil which has already caused a small contretemps with me and one of my neighbors (it's not like it's my barrel and honestly, calling the sanitation police on your brand spanking new neighbor because of a barrel that's been there for about two years is a bit, um, not welcoming) that says there is propane in the tank. The nice lady at Suburban Propane is going to get me some more propane, too, just as soon as I give her vast fistfuls of cash and all this would be well and good except that when you turn the furnace on, which you do, as I discovered this evening, via an innocuous looking light switch, nothing goes vrooomf or burble or in any other way makes an encouraging noise or creates any kind of heat. It just rumbles and nothing in the place where there should be fire catches fire. There's no smell of gas and everything rumbles - but even an hour later, there is no fire and no heat and no burbling in the pipes or the many, many beat ass baseboard heater thingies that one would assume are heat sources. This would seem to me to mean that there is a pilot that is not lit, except for the lack of gas smell, but I cannot find this pilot.

When the housing inspector inspected the furnace last summer I was right there - right there as he threw a match at it and caught his eyebrows on fire and then he told me enthusiastically that that meant it worked. I could try this method but I like my eyebrows and as one of A's friend's boyfriends said (I roped him into inspecting the damn boiler tonight on the grounds that he has a penis and this might give him mystical boiler fixing abilities) just throwing fire at a propane boiler seems like a bad idea. So I'm not going to emulate the housing inspector although, shit, I'd like to have heat, here.

I called several of my male friends (feminism fails me sometimes, particularly when my pre-feminist aunt stands there and says "Call a man! A man will know what to do!") in hopes that they could remotely fix the boiler but alas, they also were reluctant to blow up my house. I'm right there with that - I don't want to blow up the house and the boiler, which is situated conveniently in the QOB's palatial basement apartment in a sort of plywood closet with a pair of jeans stuffed into a large round hole for, one guesses, either insulation or possibly as an aesthetic statement, does not inspire confidence. It also has a garden hose attached to one of its many pipes (somehow I doubt that's standard issue) and I'm starting to suspect that my singed eyebrow housing inspectors were not, as the vernacular would have it, all that. They missed the leaking pipes, too, and the toilets that do not cease to run. Ah well.

When I went to see the psychic a month or so ago he told me not to despair about my eternally dateless and single status, that soon there would be men coming out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, he was a very literal psychic: there have indeed been men coming out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, I have to pay them all and rather than make sweet love, all they want to do is make holes in the drywall and mutter about toilets.

I love my new house but it was built, you know, by hippies. Or gypsies. Or crazed carpenters or possibly hyperintelligent beavers who were really into wood and speakers but not so much about cabinets, heat or useful things like that. That would be why the dishwasher door scrapes against the wall when you open and close it and you have to hook it up to the sink to make it work and then you have to hang the blender lid over the faucet so it doesn't soak the kitchen and then you have to sit there with it as it washes the dishes so you can turn the water off when the drying cycle comes. It's just like Hazel, actually: it wants some conversation and possibly a shot of bourbon while it washes dishes and who can blame it? We're all just getting to know each other.


Anonymous said...

You simply must put your series of musings into a collection of essays and publish it. They are too too good! Great way with words, keep it up and you'll have a book in no time.

arratik said...

Heh. The other day I had to call H at work and ask her how to re-light the pilot, and where the hell the furnace filter was located...

If penile mysticism with regard to home heating actually exists, it must have missed me.