Chimney Mystery Revealed
Today, when I came home there was the aroma of death throughout the living room. I removed the damper from the fireplace, and poked around with a stick. Nothing jumped. I slipped on some size eight and a half Bio-Gel surgical gloves and tried to reach whatever was inside. No luck. Finally, I fired up my digital camera and began to blindly take photos.
I discovered no less than three raccoons in various stages of decomposition behind the back of the firebox. It seems the smoke shelf was never sealed off, and it was a brick pit approximately 30 inches deep. I strained to reach the rotting varmints. There was no way to reach them. I considered using endoscopy instruments, but they just would not be able to carry the weight. Plus, endo tools are not rigid, and I would most likely be removing the coons in chunks. Fishing equipment, gaffs, nets, none would be suitable.
I briefly considered squirting them down with kerosene and cremating the little bastards. Bar-b-qued coon must certainly smell better than rotting coon. There is, however, a capped off natural gas line for fire logs in the fireplace, and when I considered the risks of burning the house down or even blowing it to smithereens, I started to look at other options.
As the funk of decaying coonflesh affected my brain, I came up with a plan......For now, cover them with Great Stuff foam insulation. Make a layer approximately 12 inches thick. Then, take a day off work and fill the recess behind the firebox with concrete, burying the little rotten son of a bitches like Jimmy Hoffa.
Finally, I'm going to climb the damned chimney and cover the top of it with expanded steel. I'll seal that grate down with concrete as well. Then I'll stuff so damned much fiberglass insulation into the smoke chamber that it will be the most weather tight area of this damned house. To hell with it. We have a functional fireplace in the den anyway. The firebox of the living room chimney is painted with white enamel that will bubble and toast in the heat of a fire. That thing will never have a cheery blaze warming us as we sit around the hearth swapping stories in our old age. It's decorative. Instead we can watch Norm freaking Abram on the TV and shoot spitballs in his direction as we remember the dead coon days of yore......
Labels: This Damned House