day the fire trucks came
cleaning out the garage for my then new el camino i found
roughly 60 pounds of copper wire. OLD copper wire from
back when they had cloth insulation. you know like you see on
old toasters a wire inside of a thick black shoelace.
scary right? well apparently they used this wire for everything
back in the day, even wiring a house. i tried not to think
about the fact that the house i'm living in almost certainly had
the rest of the wire from this spool running through it's walls.
hell, i don't own anything worth a crap anyhow. so what if some
rain leaks in through the roof and gets one of the wires wet
while i'm sleeping and i wake up to a raging inferno...it'll be
a good dry run for when i wake up in hell.
i focus on the fact that copper wire is worth like 2 dollars a
pound. at 60 pounds that 120.00 of free money. but
wait...my friend tells me that it's worth 3.00 a pound it the
wire is stripped...meaning has NO insulation. removing the
insulation from a modern plastic coated wire would be a choir...but
THIS stuff was just covered with cloth...i need to simply burn
it off. look, i know it sounds stupid but it sounds LESS
stupid when another stupid person is agreeing with you...it is
the same mentality that protesters have just before the police
give there final warning and charge in with pepper spray and
bean bag guns. it is a mentality that is really more interested
in "let's prove we are right" than if it is
stupid, dangerous, practical, or even counterproductive
to what we are trying to do. in this case i am trying to
collect some quick cash, and not thinking of the extra time or cost
(damage to property = cost) i hang up with my friend and
carry an armful of copper wire to the balcony facing the back
yard...and to my Weber grill.
flames were not anything special at first...but soon they turned
green and blue...it was really pretty cool. but soon they
started to get out of hand and i thought "oh well so much
for that idea, I'll just take them in as is." i
wander over to the fire extinguisher ( you didn't think i would
try this without a fire extinguisher didja?) pull the
pin...pull the trigger and...nothing. empty.
flames are now starting the grill handle on fire. that's
pretty hot. so i wander over to the other fire
extinguisher. pull the pin pul the
trigger...nothing...empty. what luck eh? oh well the
balcony is right by the bathroom to i stick a bucket in the
tub and turn on the water. while it is filling up and
figure i'd better keep an eye on the grill. from up on the
balcony i hear my two asshole neighbors ( a husband and
wife team) on my left and my one nice neighbor on my
right discussing if they should call the fire dept. i call
down that nothing is wrong, and that everything is under
go back get the bucket put out the fames and hear a fire truck
siren. now i live three blocks from the fire house so this
doesn't necessarily mean that they called anyhow...or that they
called before even asking each other if they should call.
the siren gets closer and sure enough a big ass fire truck an
ambulance and a ploice car all jackknife themselves in my front yard.
down i go to deal with the overreaction. that overreaction
being no less then ten city employees showing up to deal with
what would have been at worst and unmanned Weber grill (being a
man with little patience i usually use alot of lighter fluid
when cooking out to get the charcoal going and i can tell
you that the flames from my normal grillout are much higher than
the flames from the copper wire...plus the neighbors and i have
a ...shall we say history. one in which i am usually
holding the clean end of the stick. it vexes them to no
end. and they would like nothing less than to have the city
force me to move)
explain to the FIRE CHIEF that the flames were only from my
grill, that i was standing next the the grill telling the idiots
that called you that it was under control. the idiot and
his wife then blurt out "it wasn't US! the whole block was
concerned...just look around!" on every porch there
is a slack jawed white trash single mom or alcoholic staring at
us. i reply loudly "the whole block is out because a big
ass fire truck is jackknifed in my yard at 3 in the afternoon
and the,re all unemployed. the locals react like vampires
to garlic and shuffle back into thier homes to finish watching
judge judy and mock the plantifs- "why would you go
to court over who pays the electric bill...just don't
to the fire chief, he looks at the two assholes who have already
painted themselves guilty for calling in a false alarm by
protesting that it wasn't them before i even got around to being
more specific than "idiots". and says "well
i gotta take a look anyhow".
i show him up the the balcony i chill runs through my viens...did
i close the lid? will he open the lid if i did close it? is it
legal to burn electrical wire on your balcony? we get up
to the balcony..the lid is closed..he looks around shrugs, looks
down at the idiots who are pleading there case with the cop who
showed up, sighs and goes away.
taught me a lesson though. while the copper would have
been worth more per pound stripped, due to the fact that it was
covered with cloth insulation...it weight twice as much WET.
i made just under 200.00. i used it to by a canoe. didn't
need a canoe but the price was right and it drove my neighbors
nuts. A-it made my back yard look like crap and B- since i
left it right side up it filled with rain water and all the
pretty birds that they hoped to lure to thier yard with thier
bird feeder hung out in my canoe.
time Douglas vs the nieghbors part IV...the fence.