Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

I’ll just call it Spring cleaning

with one comment

I have to admit it, but I have been half-heartedly doing the clean-up since the smoke debacle a couple of weeks ago. There is no way around it I’m going to have to soogee the entire house, top to bottom. That means a couple of long days, at least, of playing Hazel the Maid in drag. Tomorrow starts the scrub-a-dub-dub drill. Yippee.

We finally determined the cause of the blackout. My regular chimbley guy came over for a look-see. He got up on the roof and lickety-split he determined the problem. There was an anti-critter screen on the top. It had become solidly clogged with ash thereby preventing any smoke from going out. This changed my people house into a smoke house without the benefit of having a hog to hang.

Nobody is going to accuse me of having an operating room clean place. However, after a little bit of dusting, wiping down the kitchen, giving the dirty dishes a ride and sweeping up a bale of cat hair things a pretty much presentable. The whole procedure takes two to three hours’ tops with a couple of beer breaks thrown in.

The clogged screen was just a part of the problem. The guy I bought the coal from said it was anthracite coal. The stuff he sold me was bituminous. (A little Coal 101: anthracite is hard, dry and burns practically without smoke; bituminous is soft, oily and smokes like a train engine.) The stuff he sold me was bituminous, very bituminous.

Another fun bi-coal characteristic is that the smoke also produces a heavy, oily soot. So heavy that you can write your name in the gunk with your finger after just a few minutes of exposure. It also seems to be attracted to cracks and carvings. It can even find its way into cabinets and drawers. It can also change your ginger cat into a black cat. However petting Fluffy is not to be advised.

Being my usual lazy self I figured I would get a pro to come in and do the job. I Googled for a local cleaning service and set up an appointment. It turned out to be a very short one. The lady stopped by, took a few steps into the house, looked the living room over at a glance, turned around and left laughing hysterically. I took that as not a good sign.

Back to the computer I go and start looking up articles on how to clean up soot. It turns out the secret ingredient on all of the sites is white vinegar. Okaaaay, so off I go to the local discount store and stock up. I bought mops, brushes, rags, lots of vinegar and a twelve pack. I guess the place is going to smell like a cheap salad for a few days. The Kilkenny Brothers are going to love that.

So if anybody feels like swinging a mop and having a cool one stop by. You don’t need an address, just sniff. © 2015, Jim McGowan



Written by harmonycounty

February 12, 2015 at 4:42 p02

Posted in Humor

One Response

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  1. zippity do dah get a cleaning


    February 12, 2015 at 4:42 p02

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