Posts Tagged ‘The Art of War’

… and this was the only way they could do it!

Call in the Fire Marshall!

So late Tuesday afternoon, Chief was at work. The generator had been running earlier, about 11 am, and I turned it off at 2.

So what’s that? 3 hours?

The plan was to leave it off for the rest of the day. The batteries were all charged and there wasn’t a reason to turn it on again. THIS was the point we had been trying to get to. Run the thing for a short period of time to just top the batteries off and save on gas.

So what happens?

Well.. SPAZ happens.

He comes home from school around 4 and instead of just using the laptop that’s already charged up.. he plugs the laptop into the invertor. Drains the sucker down to zip. He’s been told time and time and time and TIME and FIVE WEEKS WORTH OF TIMES to not plug the laptop into THAT particular invertor.

So now the laptop is not only dead.. but the router also won’t work meaning no internet.

No internet to Spaz is like.. I don’t know.. taking food away from a rabid grizzly bear.

He tears a fit.. bitching and moaning and complaining and bitching and moaning or complaining.

Weed was there and the more Weed told him it was his own dumb fault.. the more pissy he got.

Finally, when the chef’s knive I was holding was justthisclose to flying in Spaz’s direction, I told Weed to just turn the damn generator on.

About a half hour later, there was a knock on the door. Weed answered it and told me that it was the fire marshall and he wanted to see me out back.


Have I mentioned that the fire marshall is also the guy that heads the youth group Spaz used to go to?


So I go to the back door and he tells me I have to shut the generator off. I complay.. and he tells me that he didn’t know that we still lived here.. that he thought we moved. He also said that he can’t let our “familiarity” bias him.

Of couse it couldn’t, I tell him.. and I didn’t expect it to.

See, I’m the NICE one in the family.

So he tells me that I can’t run the generator and I ask him why.. he tells me it’s against the fire code and again, I ask him why. I tell him that I’m not being sarcastic or fasicious .. I want to know what is against the code so that I know what I have to change.

He goes to his car and brings out his Fire Hazard 101 Rules and Regs and while he’s combing through the pages, who pulls up but the CEG (Code Enforcement Guy) .. he walks up into my back yard and right behind me with his arms across his chest and doesn’t say a word. No Hi.. No Fuck You.. No This-Time-I-Got-You-Biatch!

I should have told him to get off my property because he was trespassing but I didn’t.

You know how you just KNOW something .. well, I didn’t know exactly then WHAT I knew, but I knew it .. Just felt it.

So the Fire Marshall tells me that this whole set up was dangerous.. that we can’t have extension cords running into the basement .. that there’s FAUX wood on the side of the house.. that the dog house was plastic .. all these things. So I let him say his peace and then the CEG ¬†has to go and open his mouth.

He tells me that they’ve been getting complaints about the noise and smell. I asked who? He said I didn’t need to know that. I told him that under the constitution of this republic, I have every right to know who my accusers are because I know FOR A FACT that the three houses closest me have no worries. He said that it may not have mattered to them in the winter, but now the weather got warmer and windows are opened.

I’m like WINTER? Are you freaking kidding me? This doesn’t go back to WINTER.

And he fumbled all over is tongue to say that he meant a few weeks ago while it was cooler out.

He then mentioned the tragic deaths of two people in a few boroughs from CO poisoning because the owners of the store they lived above had put a generator in the store to keep there fridges going because the power company had shut them off.

Yea.. I told him.. because they had it INSIDE .. and sorry, I don’t think a canopy of huckleberry trees constitutes INDOORS.

I then showed him the EPA stickers on the generator and the little line saying that this particular generator was well within California’s EPA codes.. CALIFORNIA, big CEG .. you know.. the EPA Capital of the World??

And noise.. what about the lawnmowers? What about the roofers using their nail guns at 7am? What about your freakin’ son on the trash truck that parks in front of my house for 40 minutes while he does God knows what on borough time?

Things started to get heated .. good thing the Fire Marshall was there, huh? ..and we got into a word exchange about how adult handle situations like adults and don’t do the weasel thing like going to the landlord or coming by when they knew Chief wasn’t home.

The Fire Marshall was getting uncomfortable because he knows what kind of people we are.. so he right away says that he knows that we didn’t MEAN to do anything wrong.. and I tell him that we followed every borough ordinance. The CEG wanted to know where we got our information because WE didn’t call HIM .. Well, guess what MR. CEG .. we DID .. you weren’t there and never came around so we did the next best thing and went on the internet where all the borough’s codes are listed.

Their outdated, he tells me.

Oh. Really?

Nice.. so what do you have them up there so people can follow the wrong codes and get fined? Is that how you keep your job?

He didn’t like that.

At all.

Now, the Fire Marshall was getting REALLY uncomfortable and to try and throw water on the inferno, he pulls out a copy of the email that my landlord requested I send to him outlining our plans for alternative energy.

Hmmmm … interesting.

He points to the part where I talked about solar panels and asked the CEG if there were any issues with them. The CEG says no but :: you’re going to LOVE this :: .. IF YOU CAN’T PAY YOUR POWER BILL HOW ARE YOU GOING TO AFFORD SOLAR PANELS.

And I swear I wasn’t raised this way but you know, some straws just break the camels back.

I looked him straight in the eye and said IT’S NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. END. OF. STORY.

I wish I had a camera.. his face was priceless.

Fire Marshall was all gulping because I know he didn’t intend to make things worse and wished, as much as I did, that the CEG would just shut the hell up.

Oh.. and while on the topic of solar panels.. the CEG happened to mention in an off-handed kind of way.. that he would like to see how they are installed. I told him fat chance he’d get that opportunity here!

I then asked why it was ok to have a generator if power was out.. CEG said because then it was an emergency .. I said that THIS was an emergency and he went on his stupid script about the neighbors and quality of living for THEM :: guess we don’t count :: and all this other bull.

The Fire Marshall butted in to say that he could care less about the noise.. he was just worried about a fire and how he would hate to have to come here and pull our burnt, charred bodies out of the house. He really did say that.

But like I said.. sometimes you just KNOW things and when I saw the email to my landlord in the Fire Marshall’s hands I knew then that everything we were doing up to that point WAS legal, the borough just didn’t like what we were doing and was going to find any way possible to stop it.

Little do they know that I’ve read the Art of War and sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.

So I shut the generator.. called the landlord and told him that I wasn’t going to use it anymore because I didn’t want to cause him anymore headaches and when Chief came home, I told him I was done. This was it.

Unfortunately, the power company wants the WHOLE bill before turning it back on .. there was a payment agreement in place when Chief closed the deli and since he didn’t have an income, DUH .. couldn’t pay the agreement. But they didn’t care. Of course, the didn’t care.

The kids.. well, Spaz immediately called the Crack Whore because GOD FORBID if something in his life isn’t easy.. who immediately started ranting and raving about getting custody .. even though she gave her 30 day notice to her landlord and doesn’t know where the hell she’s moving to .. and Weed, well, he was the same way.

When the going gets tough.. his kids get going. And that kind of pissed me off in a major way because THEY are a majority of the reason why the bill got so high in the beginning.

We returned the generator and will now send money to the power company as we get it to get the bill down until it’s paid.

There really isn’t anything else we can do … except charge the batteries using the car :: we do drive, yknow :: and run the lawnmower.

All the time.

Because, like I said.. sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.. and using THEIR philosophy.. and use ANY sarcastic voice you can think of .. isn’t dangerous to have a gas can filled with gas outside your house? Isn’t it a FIRE hazard? And well, how ELSE are you suppose to property dispose of gas? Just so happens that my lawnmower will use gas in a safe and non-hazardous manner.

Oh.. and did I happen to mention that my lawnmower is about 10 times louder then my generator???