PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Can’t Buy A Thrill….

Alrighty, so, we’ve had a little bit of an issue with our furnace. And said issue happened so infrequently, we didn’t think much of it. Until it started happening with greater frequency, and then we discussed it. And then it happened when the Wo was doing his laundry right next to it. That is how it moved to the top of our attention! list.

See, it would suddenly make a whooshing noise and then unbelievably loud banging. Which would subside, or you would race over to the thermostat to turn it off, then on again, and it would be fine. As the resident worry-wart in the house, I have been concerned the furnace is going to explode.  While I’m in it, of course.

Turns out, it still could self-combust. But a LOT of things would have to go wrong, all at the same time, so until the repairman gets back here with the correct part, we’re coasting on karma and playing the odds! Living. On. The Edge.

The first company we called (after consulting Angie’s List) couldn’t get out until sometime this week. The second company, equally well-rated, was able to come out Friday afternoon, which was awesome. Kristin wished me luck, & that I’d get Luke, the really hot repairman (they’d used the same company earlier.)  The repairman was waiting in the drive when I got home, and as I wrote her later, unless the definition of “hot” includes “missing no less than three visible front teeth”, “being a heavy smoker”, and “looking like you walked straight out of 1972, replete with porn ‘stache and wild hair”, then my conclusion was that no, I had not gotten Luke to fix our furnace.

I took the repairman down to the furnace, where he proceeded to plug & unplug things, and actually re-created the whooshing gas igniting, which startled the shit out of me. He was silent most of the entire time, and as I shifted back and forth on my feet, I finally said, “I feel like I’m standing here to hand  you tools; I’m not sure if my presence is bothersome, or if it’s ok.” He peered up over his shoulder at me. “Makes no difference to me.”


“Well, I find it fascinating,” I chirped, because I really do, I envy specialized skill sets that I don’t possess, and I admired his fearlessness in the face of exploding gas, what with all his facial and head hair. Plus you never know when someone’s gonna have a question.

He replied, “Well, let me tell you, for me? The thrill is gone.”

And we laughed, because of course, he’s seen more furnaces in a week than I have in a lifetime, and I’m sure he looks at furnaces and sees a whole list in his head. Kind of how knitters think when we see you wearing a really unique sweater, or when I watch a commercial on tv that doesn’t make sense. I appreciated his humor, and I finaly asked if he had made a diagnosis. He had, it’s a faulty gas valve, and he needs to locate one that can replace it.  These little things are not the cheapest things on the planet, of course. Frickin’ Tilli Thomas silk yarn of furnace parts.  Which doesn’t thrill me, either. But having the heat come on and not blow up the house? It’s not only necessary, it’s desirable.

Extra points if you got the reference in the post title!


  1. Yeah, blowing up the house would be pretty unfortunate… but a hell of a blogging story. 😉 Glad it’s all getting fixed.

  2. I guess furnace techs are like gynecologists in that sense – they ” look at furnaces and see a whole list in his head.”

  3. i love his response…i’m all kinds of intrigued when people come into my house and fix things, too.

    as for the title, it just made me think of “can you buy me a feeling” by kirk van houten.

  4. If it’s music related, I will never get it unless it’s so obvious that everyone would. I don’t know music at all. Your story reminds me of how each of us kind of serves our own purpose to make this world go round. It would scare the crap out of me to work with furnaces but it’s just a regular day for him. Did it wind up being an expensive repair?

  5. Hey…I would email you but I don’t see that option anywhere on this website. I live in Shawnee…I was interested in learning how to knit. I saw an afghan on somebody elses blog today and thought it looked YUM and thought I would like to learn how to do that. Where do you suggest I start? By the way…said afghan can be viewed at Thanks in advance!

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