Throw Another Log on the Fire

What rolls down stairs
Alone or in pairs,
And over your neighbor’s dog?
What’s great for a snack,
And fits on your back?
It’s log, log, log

It’s log, it’s log,
It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s wood.
It’s log, it’s log, it’s better than bad, it’s good. “

Everyone wants a log
You’re gonna love it, log
Come on and get your log
Everyone needs a log
Log log log

Log from Blammo

For Valentine’s Day—when my wife and I were dating—she bought me a cassette album. Not just any album. No, she bought for me, a Ren & Stimpy album: You Eediot! (it sounds better when spoken with an Hispanic accent. it’s not racist. it’s just that Ren is a chihuahua and has an accent. and “You eediot!” is one of his catchphrases.)

I love this cassette.

The lyrics that began this post are sung to the lovely childhood tune that accompanied the Slinky, as it rolled down stairs (alone or in pairs). So, it is quite possible some of you may know the tune. Some of you may also be familiar with the Ren & Stimpy Log (from Blammo) song. I was not—at the time—aware of the Log commercial jingle. However, I did enjoy the occasional Ren & Stimpy cartoon. This was also long before the find-anything-you-want-on-the-internet days. These were the days of cable television, reruns, and video cassettes.

In order for me to see any Ren & Stimpy, I would need to know someone who owned a Ren & Stimpy cassette or find a video rental store and hope they had one for me to rent for a night, or two. That’s right, children, there were physical brick-and-mortar locations where you would enter—in person—find the movie you wanted to watch. Take that VHS cassette to the counter. Have the employee look you up on their computer to see if you were a member (because if you weren’t then they could try and sell you a membership to provide you with discounts on your movie rentals). Then, you gave them money (actual cash dollars and metal coins) and they let you walk out of the store with the VHS cassette on an overnight loan (weekends gave you an extra day).

This is important because this story involves a Log.
And, when I think about a log I hear—in my head—the International Log commercial jingle that was on the You Eediot! audio cassette that my then-girlfriend gave to me on Valentine’s Day, all those many years ago.

So yeah, years ago (only a few this time) there were some branches that came off of a tree. That tree was (and still is) in our yard. Some of those branches were quite large and sturdy. These would be perfect for future firewood.

Now, I am not a tree expert.  I know the difference between evergreen and deciduous. I know pines and the Aspen. And, thanks to Monty Python, a Larch.

Thank you, Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

My point is this: I think one of our backyard trees is an Ash. It certainly resembles one. Two things I do know are that it is a sturdy wood, and, it is pretty. We have two fireplaces in our home, one is upstairs and one is downstairs. In the upstairs fireplace, I have a ready-to-go set of logs. I use the pretty Ashwood because the fireplace is in the front room and it is visible (presentation matters). Still, I can light a match and that stuff will burn and burn well. Fashionable and functional.

Downstairs, I use all the splintered and fragmented wood that has been split from bigger tree stumps. We use that fireplace more often and we have more of that wood available. I know that sounds so very superficial and I still don’t care. It’s my home. So, even though I have He-Man action figures and Star Wars toys on my bookshelf—which is in the front room where the ‘pretty’ firewood is on display (I know what I wrote)—my front room is still nicely kept. I like having a clean room to welcome company into. Even if that same room has playable toys set about it.

I think I lost track of my own thoughts… Firewood. Ash logs. Fire. Fireplace… Right! Okay, so, this past Sunday was chilly and more snow storms were expected to move in. I thought it would be nice to just sit and relax by a fire, after church. My wife agreed—she’s smart and pretty (she’s the best). I had the perfect log to burn. It was a twelve-inch long, eight-inch diameter, chunk of Ash.

I built up a great set of ignition debris to get smaller, surrounding logs aflame. These would (pun), in turn, cause the larger split-wood to burn, which would (another pun) allow the large Ash to burn—hopefully for a long time. It sort of did that.

The fire did start right up. The wood burned and burned and burned. The log did too, but, too well. There came a point where there were no longer open flames, but if there is smoke, there is fire. The ashen Ash was smokin’—and not the Jim Carrey kind. It needed to go out.

My wife was at choir practice and I didn’t want to house to fill with smoke, so I grabbed the smoldering log to take it outside to place in the snow. And, let me point out that I used tongs. I’m not an idiot—despite what this blog may have in it (I know what I wrote). Back to the log… With the smoking log in the tongs, I took it outside, placed it in the snow, then covered it with more snow to ensure it was out. I had already heavily doused it with water. This thing was doing what I wanted—burning. It was just doing it slowly. Internally. I wanted externally.

I figured after a reasonable amount of time, I might be able to bring it back in and place it back into the fireplace to be used once again. The concept of charcoal is being used here. This log still had plenty to burn. As I stood up from my lounge chair, I looked at my daughter (we were watching Duck Tales) and said, “Watch, I’ll be walking into the house with that log in the tongs, and your mother will drive up, see me and ask, “What are you doing?” I know it.” My daughter just smiled at the thought of it.

Within moments I’m calling out to my television companion about how right I was. I had just stepped outside to get the log when my wife pulled into the driveway. She opened the car door and asked, “What are you doing?” As I narrated to my daughter what I just narrated to you, she laughed and laughed. As did I. My wife was confused as to why so much mirth could come from what little interaction she had been a willing—yet unwitting—participant in.

As we prepared for our regular evening family prayer, I explained to my wife how I had foreseen the comical situation, how she had perfectly played her part, and then I kept laughing at it. My daughter then asked, “How long have you two been married?” My wife responded with, “Almost twenty-seven years.” To which my daughter responded with, “Congratulations. Twenty-seven years of this.” (referring to me)

At which my wife corrected—because we have been together longer than our marriage (like many couples), “You mean thirty years. Of this.” She then gestured to the still mirthing me and inferred my decades of odd antics.

Well, she started the whole log nonsense.

The Ash ash. Still about 12″ long and about 6.5″ in diameter.
This puppy’s gonna burn for a good long time.

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