I was down to the last of the firewood Dad gave me. It's long, chunky, and well seasoned, oak that burns like a dream... Who to get firewood from? Dad and I trolled CraigsList together, and we settled on a guy promising seasoned hardwood, delivered and stacked, reasonable price. Dad called and asked the big questions. Yes, it was seasoned, cut last year. It was mostly oak and some maple. Etc., etc.
So, I had a half cord delivered last night. The young eager guy in work gloves on the back porch started stacking. The wood looked kinda white, even in the dark. He told me it was mostly maple. That should've been my first clue. What happened to the promised "mostly oak?" Sarah was here with me for my fire experiment.
We started out burning Dad's good pieces. After they were going really well, and I had a nice bed of coals, I added a log of the new stuff. Getting it into the light made my heart sink. It was pretty white and fresh looking. Putting it on the fire confirmed my suspicions. It smoked and smoldered and popped and took forever to light. I'd been had. We looked at each other sadly.
Later on, in bed, planning my strategy for nicely asking asking the guy to come and take his useless wood back where it came from to season for at least another year, probably two, I remembered the name I'd written on the check that I sincerely hope he doesn't cash. I had to smile.
It was Jar*d Greenwood.