It was time to take down the Christmas tree and as we have run out of kindling I had a genius idea. I could prune the tree and put it into my log burner and probably get a day or two’s heat out of it. It was nice and dry, but hadn’t really shed its needles. I stuck it in the fire and it burned with a bright light and intense heat. It was awesome.
Bit by bit I took the tree down. I got a saw for the thicker bits and had a few boxes of clipped branches, and threw a few of the logs on to the fire.
Our family was round for lunch and suddenly there was a beeping sound coming from somewhere. Was it the smoke alarm? Had the flue got blocked again? No, that was fine. It turned out it was the carbon monoxide alarm. Which is a bit more frightening than the smoke alarm. Were we all about to collapse and die?
I suspected that me burning a pine tree in the house might be the issue and googled it and sure enough there were warnings about the dangers of burning this sappy wood and its needles. They could get stuck to the chimney and cause fires, but also release carbon monoxide. That seemed a pretty open and shut case. But no one had headaches and everything seemed OK and it was the weekend and I didn’t really know what to do with the carbon monoxide info. So I took the batteries out of the alarm to stop it ringing. And then put them back in again, I’m not an idiot. At least I am only the kind of idiot who doesn’t know what wood you can and can’t burn in your house without killing yourself. And hey presto - it didn’t start beeping again. It was probably fine.
I felt a bit uneasy about ignoring the warning, but no one else seemed that bothered. I even threw a few more bits of Christmas tree in the wood burner. A little bit more couldn’t hurt.
But the alarm went off again later, forcing me to do the battery thing again. And then again a couple more times. I let the fire die out and put the rest of the Christmas tree in the recycling bin.
It went off before bed and I wondered if there was the possibility that it wasn’t the Christmas tree that had caused it. That would be quite a coincidence, but wasn’t out of the question. But when I googled it there were only numbers for gas or oil based companies. And it was the weekend. I could just wait and see if my family made it through to Monday and if they were looking peaky by then I could ring someone.
I went to bed wondering if I would wake up again. In hindsight that seemed like a bit of a stupid gamble. My life isn’t all that important, but what if my family went too. All due to me being dumb enough to want to get some value out of my butchered Christmas Tree. I wouldn’t even know that I had murdered them because I would be dead too.
I tweeted to the world to avenge my murder by tree, by continuing to destroy millions of Christmas Trees each year (there’s no way my death could be vengeance for anything and it’s that kind of thinking that keeps wars going).
I felt bad about possibly ending the lives of the people I love most, but what could I do?