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  • Sara Moore

Chim Chimminey

So where the hell is my knight in shining armour?  I have really been ok being alone for the past eight plus years. But tonight, I'm pretty damn ready for this magical guy to show up.  I was totally enjoying my quiet night, kid free, work free, watching mindless TV and texting and chatting with some friends.  This is NOT a normal night for me.  This kind of night is a rarity and I was totally enjoying it.  UNTIL....  I heard something stuck in my woodstove pipe.  If you have ever heard this, you know instantly what I'm talking about.  You can hear a slight flutter, then ash or creasote gently tumbling down the pipe.

So what do you do?

Well, I'm guessing most of you said "I call my husband and have him deal with it."  That's nice.  I don't really  have that option.  So you know what I did?  I took my ash bucket (shiny metal pail that sits year round beside the stove), grabbed a monster flashlight that is hooked to the battery of the "drivah"- honest to god I forget the real word for this thing...  It's a power screw driver thing but with a flashlight vs a power tool attached...  A drivah.  You know what I'm talking about?  I'll assume  you do.  So I carry the phone in my right hand, tucked in my ear because I'm chatting with a friend, stuff the drivah's flash light under my left pit and carry the pail in my left hand.  I'm on a mission to free the bastard that's disturbing my peaceful night from the stove pipe.  Puts "all stove up" into context.  (Again, if you're not hick-ish, this term will be lost on you.)

So.  I get to the outside access to the chimney, open it up, and shit- yes, I said shit-  starts falling out.  It was PACKED full of soot and creasote.  FIrst thoughr is "Holy crap!  Thank GOD I didn't burn my house down this past winter!!!!"  Next thought, "Why the HELL am I the one doing this?"  Oh right.  I'm divorced, single, and I bought him out of the house.  Right.  I chose this. This is MY choice to be cleaning out the totally packed chimney.  Sigh.

I start poking at the ash and watched the bucket start to fill.  Then realized I needed to find something longer to reach UP the chimney to finish the job.  Obviously this was going to require two hands so I had to say goodbye to my friend.  Sigh.  Hung up the phone, shoved it into my bra.  (yes, they're good for that.)  Goodbye night of singledom freedom!  I treked to the back yard, got a 3' long branch I had put into a burn pile in the early spring,and went back to the side of the house.  Poke, poke, poke.  Crumble, crumble.  Shovel, shovel.  Bucket gets more full.  No critter comes flying out, but I do know that I finally poked through the pile and for now the lower part of the chimney is cleared.  I am still, once agian, grateful I didn't burn the house down this winter!

I am also grateful that I am so not a chimney sweep.  For a second I had a vision of the guy singing Chim Chimminey, chim chim chiroo and I realized it was a crock of shit.  He was totally clean.  And you know what?  I was totally covered in black, stinky soot.  I had to dump the now full bucket, step out of my new (and now totally fouled) sandals before tiptoeing into the downstairs shower and hose myself off.  I had to SCRUB all that stuff off of me and even now I totally smell like I just stepped out of a campfire.  Which I normally like the smell of, but I REEK and it's not because I've been roasting marshmallows with friends.  I have been trying to dig out some poor creature from my gross chimney.  Ugh.  This was my life.

So.  That night in shining armour?  Well, he's probably pretty psyched he's waiting until my life is totally "cleaned up."  It is.  He can hurry up now.  I'm ready.  And if he doesn''t come, that's totally fine, too!  The stove pipe is silent now and I'm just hoping that thing that was in there has seen the light and flown up to the stars. For me, I'll just have to soak in a bubbly tub for a while and pretend this was just a skit I watched tonight on television.  Although, the odds of me taking a bath are slim because I'd have to clean the tub first......

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