Friday, March 13, 2009

Old Faithful -- The Actual Geyser

If I tell you what I wished for and that it actually came true, you're not going to believe it. I could tell you how it was accomplished but I don't expect anyone to believe it. So, how about I just don't bother to convince you? If you don't have faith in my word, you're invited to leave now. A man's word is his bond. That's what Grandpa always taught me. I remember asking him what that meant, "What's a bond?" He wasn't sure what it meant either, but said the point was that what you say is supposed to be true.

So if you want me to put my hand on my heart, I will. Or to swear on Grandpa's grave, I will. How else can I say this? What you are about to read is true.

I contacted the owners of the Yellowstone Park. I literally did. I told them that I was dying, and maybe I am, from olfactory hallucinations, and that my last wish was to own the Old Faithful geyser. I knew I had a good shot at getting it, but even with that I was amazed that it was no problem to them. The reasoning makes sense. When something is as faithful as Old Faithful it also becomes boring to the owner, because "Familiarity breeds contempt" but "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." They were happy to give it up, and when questioned as to why they didn't get rid of it before they said no one else had ever had the optimism to ask for it before.

Having Old Faithful might do me good on two fronts: One, the fame I'm going to have and the extra income from tourists at my place; Two, the healing hot waters might help clear my nose and head. If I'm sniffing near it right when it blows, I will get a noseful of water and that will clear my sinuses like nothing you can get over the counter.

Anyway, there's a widespread misconception that Old Faithful is a thing of nature. They've kept that up as a myth to fool the tourists and I might want to keep up the facade. I heard them hinting around on "Mythbusters" that Old Faithful was a fraud, but they had trouble constructing a full scale model of it, so it was never proven. As it turns out, it was built in the late 1800s by an eccentric millionaire. It has a whole mechanism under the ground, including two enormous steel balls that hold and heat the water, then a central tube that leads to the surface that spews it as far as the eye can see.

It was lucky that I and Grandma now own Old Faithful, because we've had lots of digging experience, digging outhouses over the years. I can show you the half acre right now. If you see all those 4 by 4 patches where the grass is especially green, that's where we used to go. That's a lot of holes!

With some digging -- and with Cousin Roto's backhoe -- we got the big steel balls and the heating mechanism installed, then the tube, the timing device, the rocks to surround it, etc., and it's been heating up for a while. I don't know what's taking it so long. It seems like it should be blowing pretty soon. I might need to go out and stoke the fire or use one of those fireplace bellows.

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