The Heaterfort: An Exercise In The Integration Of Myth And Technology

Ah, the cool, crispy mornings of fall permeating the air with its frosty nectar at the height of the autumn season.

As those of us living in the temperate zones of the country greet the chilling temperatures with either gratitude of ill feelings of the impending winter I am reminded of an article I published on an old web site of mine which I included on my “about” page.  It deals with a term you may or may not be familiar with but one which I wish to share with you nonetheless.

What is a heaterfort, you might have said to yourself as you arrived at my site. Okay, now, a heaterfort is when, as a kid, on a cold winters night you sneak over to one of the furnace vents located in the living room of your house with a couple of blankets, moved over some furniture around the vent and threw the blankets over them to capture the heat and thus effectively block most of the heat from coming out of that vent to warm that particular room.

Your parents have, of course, warned you not to do this over and over again. But, you’re a kid and its fun and exiting to challenge your parent’s authority sometimes. They’ve also admonished you for playing with the thermostat of which you need to use a pen to lower the temperature setting so that the heat comes on to toast your heaterfort properly in a house that your frugal old man keeps at a stoic 65 degrees all winter long. But in the dead of night and winter, I might add, with the wind whipping around your house and the snow piling up on the window sil and most family members freezing their asses off this has never come close to stopping you.

And so you brave the unknown, you sneak out of your frigid bedroom with a bic pen in your mouth and 10 pounds of blankets on your shoulders. You creep on your tippy toes into the living room hoping not to wake up your parents. You pride yourself that you’ve gotten this far as you fling the blankets over the chairs in front of the furnace vent and take up residency in the heaterfort.

You might be here, you say to your self, just until I get warmed up but then again, you just might be in for the long haul as the thermostat kicks in, and the furnace in the basement comes alive with a blast of warmth that few have known except the fabled Pulpsavage Indians who lived in the frigid ice-bound regions of what is now Minnesota. Yes, they too understood what cold really was. They also knew what it took to prepare for it. They knew of the Heaterfort.

As always, I welcome your comments on this hot topic.

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