The heat is on " but not in here |

The heat is on " but not in here

“Care to explain?” husband-head asked curiously, when he came home and found me sitting on the living room floor, rubbing two sticks together.

“I’m practicing making a fire,” I said, still concentrating on my work without looking up. “I’m part Indian, you know ” I should be good at this.”

I continued to rub the sticks furiously together, but nothing was happening.

“Uh, Pocahontas, I think starting a fire in the house is considered arson,” husband-head pointed out. “Why don’t you just go out and pitch a tepee to connect with your heritage instead of our insurance company?”

But I was concerned about all the reports of the impending rise in energy costs and the fact that our heating bill may double this winter.

“The way I see it, we can either pay the high gas bills and eat Ramen noodles every night for the next six months or move to Tahiti,” I informed husband-head. “Something’s gotta give.”

“Well, we could start by you not heating the house to 85 degrees,” husband-head suggested. “If you think I don’t know you crank the heat after I leave and turn it back down before I come home, you’ve got another thing comin’, sister …”


The thing is, husband-head is one of those guys who doesn’t think the thermostat should be above 68 degrees ” which leads me to believe that he is obviously of Neanderthal or Eskimo heritage.

And OK, so maybe making a bonfire in the middle of the living room wasn’t such a bright idea. But I don’t like to be cold and husband-head didn’t seem to notice the frigid temperatures.

“Frosty the Snowman, was a happy jolly soul … with a corn cob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal!” he sang in a taunting voice.

He, of course, wasn’t the one who worked at home and needed the heat.

To get back at him, I didn’t turn on the thermostat at all the next evening and when husband-head came home from work, I was dressed in a parka and gloves that are typically worn by search-and-rescue workers.

“Welcome to the Igloo!” I greeted husband-head, giving him a frigid kiss with blue lips as he came through the door, my breath frosting in the air. “LOOK! I can make smoke rings without having a cigarette!”

Husband-head just grunted, and you could see his breath as well.

“Here’s an ice-cold beer,” I exclaimed, setting it in front of him. “And it hasn’t even been in the refrigerator!”

For dinner, I served him a grape popsicle on a plate with an ice cube garnish.

“All RIGHT, all RIGHT,” husband-head finally agreed. “You’ve made your point. Yes, it’s cold in here. You can put the thermostat up to 69.”

Thank you!

When he turned in for the night, I was already in bed.

“Honey, what are you doing to our dogs?” husband-head asked, looking at me snuggled in between our two Labs, Wyatt and Weber.

“I’m sucking off their body heat for warmth,” I explained simply.

The next morning, it was still cold and husband-head caught me trying to get warm again. I was standing in a floor-length flannel nightgown over the heating duct, letting the hot air blow up my skirt.

“You look like a pregnant Victorian woman,” he observed. “Knock it off. You’re taking up all the heat.”

In the end, husband-head had to admit that, no matter what it cost, we had to have heat.

“I know it’s going to cost more this year, but we have to have the heat on,” I patiently explained to husband-head. “But at least it’s not the police campaign looking for drunk drivers.”

Which reminded husband-head of a song.

“The HEAT is ON!” he sang to the old 1980s Glenn Frey tune as he danced around the room. ” … on the street! The pressure’s on, just to stay alive … ’cause the heat is on!”

With that, we each grabbed a stick, cranked the thermostat to 90 and danced around the living room in our skivvies.

Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at

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