01 February 2008

Lorelei's Redneck Smoking Porch

Or, I now realize what I really should have titled my blog

Evidently the South took hold of them quicker than they’d expected. The backyard bonfires while the weather still held, they were the first sign. They were easy to shrug off, though: The previous tenants had left the yard in a terrible state, and something had to be done with all that dead wood.

Firm in their resolve not to smoke indoors, Lorelei and Woody dreamed of a fire pit for Christmas. But when the weather finally turned, even that would prove insufficient against the biting southeasterly winds.

A visit to Fred’s, the local discount emporium, yielded an electric space heater that warmed them nicely on their excursions outside, until it threw the breaker.

As the pair continued to scavenge through relatives’ houses for furnishings, retrieving abandoned childhood furniture or adopting their parents’ cast-offs, a particularly lucrative haul included a kerosene heater Woody had left at his mother’s.

At 23,000 BTUs, it was nothing to sneeze at. The two huddled in its radius of warmth, though they did feel a bit guilty about heating all of outdoors. When still fiercer cold descended in the form of a front from the Midwest, bearing icy rain and snow flurries, they looked to the resources at hand.

Rummaging through the linen closet, they scrounged up a bedspread and two sets of curtains made from sheets that would tuck nicely into the vinyl siding trim around the screened-in porch. A cardboard box, some thumbtacks, and a half a dozen clothespins later, Lorelei and Woody were ensconced in their very own heated sheet fort.

The stronghold had the additional benefit of hiding their presence outdoors from marauding neighborhood derelicts, who visited with the distinct drawbacks of never bringing their own beer and, still worse, always telling the same stories—over and over and over again. (This is not to say that Lorelei and Woody are not derelicts. They're just not the marauding kind.)

Though the cold front has passed and the nights have grown warmer, sometime of a Friday or Saturday evening you still might find Lorelei and Woody perched at their two-top with the heater on. If the writer’s strike continues and Duke’s not playing basketball, you might even catch them playing checkers with a set made from Miller High Life and Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle caps. As long as you have a new story to tell, the beer and Chardonnay will flow freely. Stop on by.


TheAntagonist said...

Love the lounge!We had a similar set-up when we were living with relatives in Florida. The south is a very funny place to this nutmegger, back porches instead of front, belling a privacy that changes once you enter the home as opposed to the false openness of some of us Yanks.

The screened in aspect is another interesting southern innovation, those damn mosquitoes!

So glad I found this more personal space. May I pull up a chair and chat? Oh and by the way you may know me as Othelo, on blogspot I go by yet another more inciteful name.

Consider this an invitation to go through my rummage closet of thoughts.

We'll have a smoke, a laugh and an argument or two and maybe learn something in the process.

ahickpoet said...

Ah, well, the myth that the back porch suggests more privacy is also only true in places where people knock on the front door!