We got a ton of pellets yesterday. A ton isn’t that much. It’s fifty bags that weigh forty pounds each. I wrote out the math for you to prove I went to Catholic school. We had it delivered, because the place that delivers keeps their pellets indoors, so they’re the only supplier that doesn’t sell you wet pellets. Wet pellets are next to useless. Walmart is only twenty-five dollars a ton cheaper, and they leave the pallets out in the weather. In case you’re some form of criminal, I’m giving you a heads up that you can go to Walmart at 1 AM and find $25,000 worth of pellets in the parking lot that you can steal if you’re feeling really frisky and have a pickup truck that can handle a hundred tons. My advice is that it’s a lot less work to simply siphon gas from your neighbors’ cars and use the fuel to drive until you reach the Mason-Dixon line. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways.
People never steal anything useful like pellets. That’s why they’re left out in the parking lot under the hinky streetlight. People who want to steal things go inside the Walmart and try to steal televisions and iPhones, which are not useful, and go to jail for their trouble. There’s 25 grand in pellets outside, but they want to steal a phone the company will give to you for free if you sign up for cellphone service. I think that proves that tattoo ink interferes with normal brain function, because everyone in the police blotter has a visible tattoo on their neck. I’m just doing the math again. However, it doesn’t explain how you ended up with a tattoo in the first place, so I need a new theorem.
We burn pellets instead of firewood these days. Firewood is cheaper than pellets, which are cheaper than oil, which is cheaper than propane, which is cheaper than electricity. Wood, pellets, oil, and propane dumped together and burned in a rusty barrel out in the yard to heat the house indirectly through an open window is cheaper than electricity, now that I think of it. That’s because electricity is 100-percent efficient. Nothing goes to waste. Every electron you use is converted directly into a zero on your bill. You could get an electric bill for $900 where I live. For one month. That’s if it’s a warmish January. The electric company doesn’t leave any electricity outside on pallets in their parking lot, or I would steal it, and feel saintly while doing it. There are laws greater than those made by men.
We bought the largest pellet stove we could find. It’s a Vogelzang VG5790, which translates roughly from German as, “The goddamn electric bill for January was $900.” If that translation sounds a bit off for you, that’s because I learnt classical German, not that strange dialect you seem to have picked up. Anyway, according to the manufacturer, our pellet stove produces 60,000 BTUs per hour. According to me, pellet stove manufacturers produce one extravagant lie every minute. At any rate, our stove has 5 settings:
- Why do you keep it so hot in here? (October)
- Why do you keep it so cold in here? (November)
- Why is there ice on the inside of the windows? (December)
- Why am I brushing my teeth with slush from the faucet? (January)
- Why didn’t I buy damp pellets from Walmart when I had the chance? (February)
Whenever we turn the pellet stove on Setting 5, we all adopt a Montgomery Scott accent and say things like, ” She canna take much more captain, she’s gonna blow.” On the humor scale, that’s right up there with saying, “Come along, Artoo,” when you’re pulling a shop vac over to clean out the pellet stove and start a fire in the shop vac. Normal people fear a fire in their shop-vac. In Maine, we shrug and say, “Woohoo! Free BTUs!”
The stove glows like an Iranian underground bunker, vibrates and hums a lot, and the side panels pop open from expansion when it’s on the Number 5 setting. It’s still only 40 percent as terrifying as the electric bill, so we take our chances.