Giant Fireplace Doom Plumes

Is there anything in the land of home decorating that says “coziness and charm” more than a fireplace? Ok, yes, an actual sign that says “coziness and charm” would probably do better but I am known for my subtlety and nuance.

In SOME places where people have not actually MET me I am known for subtlety and nuance!

Fireplaces. We all want them. You can live in Mesa, Arizona where the average temperature is higher than my credit score and still want a fireplace.

I, and this will be a shock to no one, haven’t had the best luck with fireplaces.

The fireplace in my first home was decent, but I had a baby/toddler, so I was too afraid of it.

The fireplace in my home in England was fake. It was a heating unit with exposed coils that had fake glowing coals mounted on top that “flickered” by way of a fan that would spin when heated by the lightbulbs within. Except one of the lightbulbs burned out the month after we moved there, causing our “fire” to only glow to the left which made the little fan function like a merry-go-round being operated by a drunk, hostile clown.

The first home Himself and I lived in had the worlds most menacing looking woodburning fireplace, and I wouldn’t touch it for fear that it would come to life like some demonic parody of the stove from “Beauty and the Beast.”

And then, there is the house we live in now.

My track record remains untarnished.

Allow me to illustrate. Literally.

Here, we have your typical piece of urban charm.

Is this not what we all want? Is this not WHY we buy the magazines and the chotchkies and the pets? To get this nummy swatch-o-comfort?


So, then we have MY fireplace.

My fireplace does not give me that picture.

I know, I know….you’re stunned and fanning yourself with a Venus catalogue, aren’t you?

Here is my fireplace:

Our fireplace does not like to do anything that might involve it coming close to an actual open flame.

Our fireplace maxes out its comfort level at the heat of your typical pair of hands rubbed together as long as it’s not TOO briskly.

There is some updraft vacuum vortex that makes the lighting of actual logs with actual matches about as likely as Amy Winehouse winning the nobel prize in physics and/or hair.

Fortunately, my fireplace comes with a gas starter.

Note that I did NOT say I have a gas fireplace.

No, cause that’s what those goddamned annoying NORMAL HOUSES have, and we can’t have any of THAT now can we?

We have a gas starter.

So, what we have to do is: turn a valve, listen for the outrageously loud hissing that communicates that gas is flooding into the box, then strike a match.

And then we have this:

You know those drag cars with the two giant columns of flame that explode out behind them as they take off at 176,000 miles an hour for nine-and-a-half feet?

Yes. I have that IN MY FAMILY ROOM.

My family room can go from zero to pile-of-ash in 14.6 seconds.

Do you not all wish you were me?

Or, do you not all wish you were my insurance agent?

But the good news? I can toast a marshmallow in that fireplace while sitting in my bathtub.

So take that.


Filed under Humor

17 Responses to Giant Fireplace Doom Plumes

  1. Nordic Girl 2

    OMG girl. You make have to pee every time I read your blog. Love the illustrations by the way. I use to have a fake fireplace too and only the right side bulb worked. Tried replacing it one day and ended up in the emergency room, (4 stitches), but the fireplace got the worst of the fight. Ended up tossing that sucker off the balcony! Showed it! Maybe it’s time for a fireplace update?!

  2. Klz

    S’mores with no fear of bath tub electrocution! What are you complaining about?

    (why yes, I do dream of making s’mores on a hot plate in the tub…or something)

  3. why don’t you just get one of those portable fire pits and put it in your living room? Sure, it’s a bit smoky, but i’ll be warm and you can toast marshmallows from your couch.

  4. I’m with Cheryl…it’s like bringing the outdoors in.

  5. We have a woodstove. It makes the living room as hot as the innermost circle of hell but due to the 2 foot thick cinder block wall dividing the living room from the rest of the house, the heat does not leave the living room.

    The thermostat is in the living room.

    So the living room is as hot as hell and the rest of the house is as cold as the ice planet Hoth (probably there is a taunton hiding in the guestroom closet)

  6. I hate our fireplace.

    My husband loves it.
    I’d burn that thing down if it weren’t for the fact that the fireplace is always the only thing left standing after a housefire

    Did you ever notice?

  7. I love that one of your prerequisites for a normal fireplace is “lack of fear.”

    Plus, I am now going to seek out a sign that reads “subtlety and nuance” to hang next to the one we already have that says “coziness and charm.”

    Because it’s genius. And we have none of those things here.

    But a girl can dream…

  8. at least your ugly brick fireplace is painted, mine is still nasty ’60s California ranch orange. am just too lazy to paint it and I’m slightly terrified I will buy wrong paint, start a fire, and inhale toxic fumes. Absolutely LOVE that you used the word tchotchke here – great minds think alike!

  9. I have a beautiful mantel that once adorned a wonderful fireplace. But now there’s a large, ugly radiator in its place, covered by a fireplace screen. Classy.

  10. We don’t have a fireplace and I want one. But, after reading this, maybe I don’t want one. :p

  11. We have a gas fireplace downstairs. Which I refuse to light for fear of burning off my face.

    I also spend the entire time it IS lit walking around the house asking the husband, “Do you smell gas? IT SMELLS LIKE GAS!” and then I open the windows, negating the warming effect.

    Stupid fireplaces.

  12. I live in an apartment in NYC and I think a fireplace adds about $500,000 to the asking price. Therefore, no fireplace. I do have a brick all with a television hanging on it though. I don’t know how to turn that on either.

  13. We have a never-to-be-used fireplace. It is just there so that the kids can knock over the heavy fireplace screen, make an obnoxious noise when it hits the ground and then stuff things in there so they get coated with charcoal.

  14. liz

    You are gonna hate me. We have 2 on our house and I would ditch both. They are pretty, but we just don’t use them down here. Though we may be the weirdos since the builders keep BUILDING Southern houses with them. 🙂

  15. This is hysterical! And your illustrations just keep getting better and better.

    I can see the value in roasting marshmallows from a distance, since I usually injure myself over the campfire.

  16. a snowsprite

    I very much want a fireplace, but in order to have one, I will need to live with someone who can both deal with my loony and make fires with out burning the house down. When I was very small, I burnt off my bangs trying to blow out my birthday candles. Hehehehe but there are other reasons why I should never light a fire.
    I love this! You are funny funny. I will be back!

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