I got this story from a good friend of mine who lives in St. Louis, and who is also an avid SOOF reader. Though the names have been changed to protect the identity of this particular "Old Fart" my friend swears this is a true story. And, if that's the case, I'm sure you'll agree that this guy should be anointed "Old Fart of the Year."
Here's how the story goes:
A guy named Ted was asked by his wife to clean out the family room fireplace. They had enjoyed a fire in that room the night before, and Ted's wife thought the remaining ashes "smelled up" the rest of the house.
Ted immediately retrieved a plastic bucket from the garage to hold the ashes. He then dutifully began scooping ashes into the bucket without noticing that some of the ashes were actually smoldering embers from the previous evening's fire. When the bucket was full, he picked it up by its handle, carried it across the family room, out the back door, across the backyard to a hedge row where there was a pile of recently raked leaves, and that's where he dumped the bucket's contents.
After returning the bucket to the garage, Ted went back to the family room. There he was greeted by the smell of burning carpet. Embers had melted a hole in the bottom of the bucket and were unknowingly trailed across the floor as Ted was hauling the bucket out back. Not being the quick thinker he was during his younger years, Ted ran to the closet, got the vacuum cleaner and started to suck up the ashes he had trailed across the floor. However, before he could finish, Ted's wife yelled from upstairs, "Ted, the hedge is on fire!"
Ted dropped the vacuum, ran outside, got the garden hose, drug it to the hedge and doused the slow burning fire. Then, as if a light bulb had been turned on in his head, Ted dropped the hose, and ran back into the house. Sure enough, there was the dust bag on the vacuum cleaner also on fire. He picked up the vacuum, carried it outside, threw it on the ground and hosed it down like a fireman fighting a three alarm house fire.
The good news in this story is that Ted's wife got new carpet for the family room and a brand new Oreck XL21 to keep it clean. The bad news is that Ted had some unplanned gardening work to do in the spring, and was required by his wife to increase his daily dosage of gingko baloba.
You just can't make this stuff up! And, it definitely "Smacks of Old Fart."