Firewood Saga: Part 3: The Art Of The Deal

Ring ring. “MegaCorp Construction, we build it so you don’t have to. How can I help you?”

Curmudgeon: “I’m calling about the ad. It says you’ve got firewood for sale?”

“Certainly. I’ll transfer you to Jake…”

Click… they hung up.


Ring ring. “MegaCorp Construction, we build it so you don’t have to. How can I help you?”

Curmudgeon: “I’m calling about firewood. I think we just got disconnected.”

“I’ll transfer you to Jake, he does the firewood.”

Click… they hung up.

Ring ring. “MegaCorp Construction, we build it so you don’t have to. How can I help you?”

Curmudgeon: “I’m calling about firewood, please don’t transfer me to Jake.”

“But Jake does the firewood.”

Curmudgeon: “What’s your name?”


Curmudgeon: “It’s nice to talk to you Julie, if try to transfer me to Jake and instead hang up on me a third time I’m coming down there to talk it over with you personally.”

“Oh my.”

Curmudgeon: “And I’ve got all the time in the world. I’ll bring scrabble.”


Curmudgeon: “I have halitosis. I eat a lot of beans. I can sit around all day breathing and farting…”

Click… “Jake here.”

Curmudgeon: “I’m calling about firewood.”

Jake: “Oh yeah. We’ve got lots of it. Hey, did Julie transfer you here?”

Curmudgeon: “Yes. It took her a few tries.”

Jake: “Man, she always screws it up.”

Curmudgeon: “Anyway you have cut, split, seasoned, hardwood?”

Jake: “Yes we do!”

Curmudgeon: “It is cut and split?”

Jake: “Yes.”

Curmudgeon: “It is seasoned. Nice and dry? I want to burn it around Thanksgiving.”

Jake: “Bone dry. Ready to go right now.”

Curmudgeon: “Hardwood?”

Jake: “It’s oak. Good stuff.”

Curmudgeon: “Forgive me if I sound weird but I’ve been hurt before. This wood is cut, split, seasoned, and oak?”

Jake: “Yep.”

Curmudgeon: “And you posses this wood right now. On earth. In a non theoretical construct?”

Jake: “Ha ha ha… of course.”

Curmudgeon: “I would like to purchase one cord of it. I’ll happily pick it up. How much?”

Jake: “A hundred bucks a cord.”

(Now this was odd. I was expecting about twice that. What games were afoot this time. Was he just setting me up to fall? Am I the Charlie Brown to his Lucy? Would I really get to kick that football?)

Curmudgeon: “This is firewood, cut to stove length (16″ or so), split, it’s dry/seasoned, it’s oak, it exists right now, and it’s $100 for a cord?”

Jake: “Yes.”

Curmudgeon: “I’ll take it!”

Jake: “We’re closed today.”

Curmudgeon: (Skipping a few mental gears.) “Aaackkk… OK fine. I can buy firewood from you, tomorrow?”

Jake: “Yes.”

Curmudgeon: “I’ll call again tomorrow then?”

Jake: “Cool talk to you then.”

The Next Day:

Ring ring. “MegaCorp Construction, we build it so you don’t have to. How can I help you?”

Curmudgeon: “Hi Julie, this is Curmudgeon. I’m looking for Jake. I just ate an onion sandwich and I haven’t bathed in weeks. I can come right down there and hang out all day but it would be just as easy to talk to Jake on the phone.”

Click. “Jake here.”

Curmudgeon: “Hi this is Curmudgeon.”

Jake: “Julie made the call transfer on the first shot?”

Curmudgeon: “Yes.”

Jake: “That’s weird. What did you say to her? She just came by to check I got the call.”

Curmudgeon: “I told her I wish to do business so you guys could make a profit and keep the company afloat.”

Jake: “Ha ha ha. Well you want firewood or what?”

Curmudgeon: “Yes. I want to buy one cord of cut, split, dried, oak firewood for $100. I’ll pay cash and pick it up myself.”

Jake: “Great. You gonna’ load it up yourself?”

Curmudgeon: “Well if you’ve got a bobcat handy that would save me the trouble.”

Jake: “Sure a bobcat can dump it in your truck in no time.”

Curmudgeon: “So, if I show up you’ll load my truck with a bobcat.”

Jake: “Of course.”

Curmudgeon: “I’ll be there in an hour?”

Jake: “Not today… all our bobcats are on construction sites today.”

Curmudgeon: “OK Lucy, when should I kick the football?”

Jake: “Lucy? Just come by tomorrow.”

Curmudgeon: “OK.”


The Next Day:

Ring ring. “MegaCorp Construction, we build it so you don’t have to. How can I help you?”

Curmudgeon: “Hi Julie, this is your special friend Curmudgeon. I’m looking for Jake.”

Click. “Jake here.”

Curmudgeon: “I would like to purchase firewood?”

Jake: “Then come on down!”

Curmudgeon: “You have a bobcat available today?”

Jake: “Sure do.”

Curmudgeon: “OK I’m just asking because I want to be clear; you have firewood. You’re willing to sell one cord of it. It is oak. It is cut, split, and dry. It exists right now. You have a bobcat to dump it in my truck. Right now. And you want $100 in American dollars to purchase this firewood.”

Jake: “Heck yeah. Did you tell Julie you eat onion sandwiches?”

Curmudgeon: “I like onions. So tell me… how big is a cord?”

Jake: “4′ x 4′ x 8′. Everyone knows that.”

Curmudgeon: “4′ x 4′ x 8′ is 128 cubic feet and one cannot fit a full cord in a single truck without racks or very careful stacking. I’m bringing my trailer. Half a cord in the truck, half in the trailer. Sound good?”

Jake: “Whatever.”

Curmudgeon: “I will be there in 10 minutes with $100.”


I fired up my truck and hitched the pony trailer. For Julie’s sake I dressed the part. Overalls, shit kicker rubber boots, a battered hat, a ripped t-shirt. I’d like to say I was “costuming up” as a scary redneck but dressing as ‘scary as possible’ really isn’t that exceptional. I wished I had onions… to make a sandwich.

Stay tuned…


About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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4 Responses to Firewood Saga: Part 3: The Art Of The Deal

  1. Robert says:

    Oh, man, yer killin’ me with the suspense here! And I think I can smell onions. Dammit, now I”m hungry.

  2. Eowyn says:

    Onions are always better if you add the sandwiches …

  3. Goober says:

    So, your calcs may be off a bit. A fullsize pickup bed, long box, is 5 feet wide, 8 feet long. You can easily get a cord in there without sides, since the stack only needs to be 3′ 3″ tall. You can stack it up cab high in the middle (higher than 3′-3″), taper it down tot he sides (lower than 3′ 3″), and if it’s cured wood, any truck worth a damn will easily haul it.

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