When my twins, Graham and Claire were just small, we used to take them to this “Tot’s and Mom’s” swim session at the Waterloo Swimplex, in the town we live in. Notwithstanding the nowadays offensive exclusionary title of the swim session, it was a fun time. Even though I was…clearly…a Dad…I was allowed to wade into the luke warm waters with my fellow “Parental Units” and enjoy a swimming lesson with the kids and my wife, Anne, who is – obviously a woman, and hence was not worried about any type of shunning….anyway, this isn’t about that.
One of the earlier times, as I held Graham or Claire, I cant remember which one now, but it was likely Graham. (Sorry boy…) I felt this surge of…not pride…not love…not even gratitude – all of which would have been quite fitting – nope, I felt a surge of warm effluent against my body and it was coming from my kid!
Now, I have studied Psychology, I have taught for 25 years now, and I know – you can screw a kid up pretty good just by saying a few stupid things at a few key moments in their lives so….I said nothing….
But here is something I cannot “say nothing” about..
A troubling trend that I see, especially on Facebook, but also in a few ads for “Outdoor Living” in magazines.
The trouble comes in the form of an innocuous looking, innocent enough appearing, warmth offering – portable wood burning fireplace or fire-pit. NOW – before any of these manufacturers get the lawyers ready to “gun up” on me here – hold on, I am saving you a few bucks for sure.
Here is the issue, I keep seeing people posting pictures of these metal fire containers – ON WOODEN DECKS. One of them is even a young guy that is trying to get on with the fire department! ( Can you imagine THAT interview…..Ohhhhhh, I remember you…..your the guy who burnt is house down!)
The captions are all like, “mmmm enjoying a warm fire on a cool night.. and “nothing beats a campfire on the deck on these summer nights…” I am terrified of that the next postings will be, “mmmm, enjoying 8 hours in emerge, thank God only second degree burns, or nothing beats a friend that will let us stay with them while our house is re-built…..”
I am guessing you get the point here, and if you don’t, here it is. For those of you who only have a loose grasp of Thermodynamics or maybe slept through the “Heat Transfer” part of Grade 10 physics and/or, are struggling with the concept that the material you are BURNING in your cosy fireplace is the SAME as the material is it sitting on, I will clarify it for you…WOOD BURNS!
Yes, I know in the “Bubble Wrap” logic of our society the common response will be – “but the picture on the box has it on a deck” – well sorry, likely a lawyer or a smart person isn’t the one who put that picture there and the facts are the facts. Those cool little wood burning fireplaces DO NOT belong on your WOODEN – or COMPOSITE, for that matter, deck! They belong on a STONE – (if you get your fire THAT hot, stop burning Plutonium) patio where it is safe and where you can enjoy them without a visit from your local fire department or without a night your local ER!
Go move those things off your deck before you hurt yourself and happy marshmallow roasting! 🙂