By now I was a man on a mission. I wanted to exploit my dead furnace “event” to:
- Save some bucks by NOT financing a new furnace.
- Live a year of flipping the bird at oil companies.
I was adamant about the financing. Credit cards are radioactive. Visa once had a vice cranked firmly on my balls. I’m not going down that path again. A furnace costs $X. I had $0. $X>$0. So no purchase and Visa can go fuck itself. As for oil companies…I don’t really hate them but they’ll do fine without me.
My wife, who is saintly, said nothing. Sometimes the most wonderful thing your wife can do is to let you chase your dreams. My wife rocks because she let me chase my dream of being a cheap bastard. All the men who get browbeat until they wind up imprisoned in mini-vans have my sympathy.
Folks were incredulous that I didn’t buy a new furnace on day one. “I haven’t got the money” I’d say. They’d look at me like my head was growing antennae. Which leads me to a Curmudgeonly Gem of Insight:
“Americans have lost the ability to go without something merely for the quaint archaic reason that they cannot pay for it.”
For the rest of the winter I had to take wood from a pile, put it in the stove, and well…that’s it. I worked from home so it was uneventful. Every few hours I’d push back from my desk, toss a log on the fire, enjoy a brief moment of smug contentment because I hadn’t spent money, and then sit back down. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t as convenient as a thermostat but it wasn’t a big deal. Why the obsession with an appliance? I’ve come to believe that most folks would buy an appliance to wipe their ass if Wal-Mart sold one.
People carried on like I was living in a mud hut and wearing sackcloth. What is this? Especially from the men, I expected more…uh…machismo. Tossing an occasional log into a modern, non-catalytic reburn airtight wood burning stove is…misery? In a world that’s experienced war, famine, and pestilence…and that’s just in Detroit…I’m supposed to whine about using a wood stove? Since when did my nation, land of the free and the home of the brave, become a mass of limpwristed pantywaisted chickenshits?
Leading to my next Curmudgeonly Gem of Insight:
“Americans have come to believe that any inconvenience, no matter how small, is impossible to bear.”
The pressure was more or less constant. I expected people would think I’m odd. (Which is fair enough.) But beyond laughing at my kooky refusal to get with the program what of it? I was hounded relentlessly. I could have infiltrated a Buddhist temple and done lines of blow off Krishna’s ass with less social disapproval than I got for refusing to buy what I couldn’t afford. Apparently, Americans have (nearly) lost the ability to tolerate whack jobs who wont buy stuff on credit like God intended. As always I relied on my super-Curmudgeonly powers of obstreperousness to see me through.