Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Ok, last stove/lantern geek post for a while, I promise.

This gem of a post came from a thread called How I Became a Stovie. A stovie, btw, is a person who collects/uses/tinkers on liquid fuel stoves.

My Sainted Mother, bless her, taught me to read before I was five. I then began reading my older cousins' boy Scout books. There in print was tacit permission to have fires! I liberated empty cans from the garbage and washed them preparatory to savaging them with tin snips and straightened nails in order to contain small fires made of twigs and pine cones so I could incinerate food purloined from the kitchen. My parents saw no harm in it until I assassinated an innocent cottontail going about his lawful business in our vegetable garden. I divested the victim of his furry waistcoat and most of his inward workings with the aid of my (t) rusty pocket knife, then made some barely edible rabbit fricasse in a tin can kettle over a fire in a tin can stove. Nirvana!

Down the hill from us about a quarter of a mile was the western shore of a small irrigation dam which contained frogs, slime, hordes of mosquitoes, and an assortment of bullheads, sunfish, and perch. Some of these leviathans attained lengths approaching five inches. They were also severely retarded as proven by their propensity to bite hooks baited with bits of red bandana handkercheif. Many of these unfortunate denizens of "The Dam," as it was generally called, also came to ignominious ends on my various tin can crematoria. Since then I've had an unquenchable thirst for things "stove."

In my early teens I built a shack of salvaged (read: "stolen") lumber in the back yard wherein I and my partner in crime Joel Jensen had a stove fabricated from a 5 gallon lube oil can with a chimney made from a length of galvanised rainspout salvaged from a building being torn down in the neighborhood. We vulcanized dozens of eggs, cans and cans of SPAM, and boiled vats of bad coffee on that stove.

It was about that time I found a discarded REI catalog in the neighbor's trash. In it there were pages and pages of forbidden camping and stove porn ! ! Joel and I caught a bus to 11th and Pine in Downtown Seattle, where perverted enablers actually encouraged us to light up! We learned words like: "Svea 123", "Optimus 8R", "Primus 71L" and the delights of Army Surplus dried squash, spinach, and chemically mummified lemon type flavored drink powder. It would be many more years before I could actually buy any of 'em. I've never looked back.


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