What do you mean it can’t be done?

We were at Mie’s place yesterday celebrating her birthday.. You know, the whole family shebang.. Beers, wine, dinner, conversations and all that jazz. Mie and her boyfriend Dennis moved into this new house not too long ago so there’s still a lot of renovations going on.. At some point after dinner, Poul, a guy from my neck of the woods (greater Kolding area, that is) looked over in the corner and noticed a metal fire place, wood fired oven kinda thing standing around rather awkwardly on the floor. “Yeah,” Mie said.. We had this local chimney specialist come over and have a look at it, he said it wouldn’t fit onto the chimney and what not, so we don’t know what to do with it.

Poul, evidently being a taking no nonsense from nobody kinda guy, got up an expected the piece and eventually went “I’ll be damned if I’ll let some chimney sweeper from Fuhnen dictate what can or can’t be done.. Boys, we’ll make this work!” I should probably mention that there’s quite a lot of friendly rivalry going on between the demographic groups from various parts of Denmark, namely those of us from Jutland (the main land where I’m from), those from Fuhnen (Denmark’s second largest island where Nyborg is located and I’m trapped a the time being), and the pricks from Sealand, Denmark’s largest island.. Which I won’t even get into.

Either way, Poul apparently saw a chance for the people from Jutland to shine, so in no time he had me, my dad, Jonas – another guy from Jutland – and Dennis, the owner of the house and hence honorarily introduced into the group despite being from Fuhnen, sizing the thing up. We went at it, twisting and turning things, screwing parts of the metal chimney into place and concluded that sure enough, the chimney were a quarter inch or so too long for the oven to fit underneath..  As if that ever stopped anybody from Jutland, though.. We quickly devised a plan. My dad, Poul and Jonas piled into a car, enlisting the help of Birthe (who was conveniently sober) as driver and went looking for a metal grinder. In the mean time, Dennis and I went looking for supplies mainly in terms of beers and proper safety gear for what was about to happen.. Our master plan being that if the oven was too tall to fit under the chimney piping, we’d simply tip it over, carry it outside and grind a few inches off the feet, after which it, in theory, should fit right onto the chimney with no room to spare.

The car soon enough returned bearing my father’s discount grinder packing the only low end metal sawing attachment they’d been able to find.. Not letting that stop us, we set on to carry the oven into the garden to get things done. At this point we conveniently discovered that the oven apparently could be lifted off its metal feet, which made things a little easier as it meant we could lift it off the feet, put it down on the floor, on top if a bunch of wooden planks we produced out of nowhere and then just carry the feet outside and grind them down.. Which we did.. And what a sight for sore eyes that was. Jonas did the cutting, with Dennis assisting, wearing as proper a safety attire as we could be able to find.. Consisting mainly of Poul’s jacket, a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses to protect his eyes from the sparks flying everywhere.. And some gardening gloves for keeping his hands safe. And of course the job was done with each of them holding a cigarette in their mouth and a can of beer on the side. I, being the only other person in the crowd with glasses and apparent lack of regard for own personal safety, provided a helping hand from the side line and doubled as photographer..

After an eternity of cutting, we had the feet ready, the only thing left to do was to assemble the chimney, attach the oven and while holding it up slide the feet down under it. leaving a fully functional wood fired heating device. Some of the more squeamish women in the crowd opted not to watch this part of the process as it basically involved most of the men they cared about playing around with heavy lumps of metal and sharp edges between their fingers.. We figured it’d be alright, though, we had proper safely equipment after all.. Right?

Well, it did go alright for most of the process, we got the chimney into place, we got the oven screwed onto the chimney, we even slid the legs half way under the oven – which was now suspended in mid air.. And then, then the legs just wouldn’t budge. They were half way under there, but the combined weight of the chimney and the oven was too much for us to slide them entirely into place.. We pondered leaving it like that, arguing that at least it’d been assembled now and was in more of a working order than before.. Then someone got the grand idea to go grab a car jack from their car, use it to hoist the oven up as much as possible.. And then slide the legs into place before lowering it down again.. Genius! Like the rest of the process, it was such a stupid idea that it might actually work.. And it did! Five minutes later we were able to slide the jack out with the oven securely fitted onto the chimney and resting comfortably on its legs.. And needless to say we were beyond proud of ourselves for doing something a local expert on the matter deemed impossible!

All we needed was four people from Jutland, a local resident, a grinder, a (donkraft), a bag-in-box wine, a few beers and some common ingenuity, proper safety equipment in the shape of gardening gloves and Ray Ban sunglasses plus equal parts brute force and healthy disregard for personal safety.. And they said it couldn’t be done.. Hah!

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