The Firewood Caper

Kellie Elmore, of Magic in the Backyard fame, is doing her Free Write Friday, and here’s the prompt:

It’s cold outside and the craziness of the holidays is upon us so, let’s take a few minutes to warm up and share some stories by the fire! Be creative! You can write about something real or, use your imagination to create something new! Here are a list of prompts in which you may choose and or all as your subject…

  • …in a summer thunderstorm
  • That was the summer when…
  • …on my private island…
  • This one time at summer camp…
  • …ocean waves crashing around me

Looking forward to your warm entries! Have a great weekend!!!


Well, it’s late (for us old guys), it’s the holidays, and I just don’t have time to write something new, so I’m going to throw an old one at you. Now here’s the thing, it’s not what Kellie’s looking for, but it’s kind of related. It’s about building a fire, or wanting to anyway, so hopefully she’ll let me slide. It’s a true story, by the way.

It was back in the early eighties, and me, my brother’s best buddy, Ski, and his wife, Susie drove down from Tacoma, Washington to Boise, Idaho, to visit my brother, Ken.

We had all gone out and terrorized the locals pretty well, and when we got back to Ken’s house it was snowing. Being the penny-pincher Ken was/is, it was fairly frigid in the house, so I suggested we build a fire in the fireplace, to which I received the reply from Ken, “Good idea, Chuck, but we don’t have any firewood.”

For some reason, we wound up on the back porch—it was even colder out there—and as we stood there shivering, I noticed the neighbor had a nice stack of split wood stacked against the back of his house. I told Ski, “Jump over the fence and grab us a few sticks of that wood, Ski?”

I won’t print what he said, but the condensed, and laundered version was, “That ain’t gonna happen!”

I’m a rather persistent sort, and in no time I had Ski convinced the caper was a no-brainer, win/win situation, and we could soon be sitting in front of a crackling, roaring fire, sipping wine coolers.

I was as shocked as anyone, when Ski suddenly vaulted the fence and crept stealthily to the woodpile, leaving telltale tracks in the snow as he went. Brother Ken’s sixth sense—which translates to, he knows his brother too well—kicked in, he muttered a profanity, and hustled himself, his wife, Jackie, and Susie into the house. I grinned at Ken then turned to watch as Ski reached out and took a stick of firewood in each hand.

He had just turned to come back to me, a huge grin on his face, when he realized–I could tell this by the horrified look on his face–his grin was no match for mine. He knew he’d been had before the words left my mouth.

I tilted my head back, cupped my hands around my mouth to ensure maximum volume, and shouted, “SOMEBODY’S STEALIN’ YER FIREWOOD!”

I ran into the house, and Ski came stumbling in, mere seconds later, with a look on his face that was part fear; part I’m-gonna-kick-your-butt, and part what-an-idiot-I-am. He looked at me with eyes as big as baseballs and said, “I can’t believe you did that.”

I have to tell you folks, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard those six words.


  1. elizena said

    Oh Charles, you’re as bad as my brothers. They’re always pulling gags on each other, but on a scale from 1 – 10, I think this was a definite 10! Sounds like you had lots of fun though and hopefully Ski eventually learned not to be so gullible. LOL!!!

    Elizena R. Arellano:

    • It was great fun pulling pranks on my little brother and his friends. He moved to a remote island after the last one, so my fun is over.
      Thanks for the fun comment Elizena!

  2. terri0729 said

    LOL! You were so mean!!! Too funny, Charlie! sounds like something my brother would do. Blessings, Terri

    • Mean? Me? I was just havin a little fun! My brother never got used to it, and his friends were very cautious around me.
      Thanks, Terri!

  3. Charles! lol! This is exactly what I wanted. Something real and toasty 🙂 You gave me both! Love it my friend, thank you! I welcome anything you want to share with us! I love reading you. Have a wonderful holiday. big hugs!


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