This morning, while reading to my kids as we waited for the carpool, I had a sudden realization: I was sweating my brains out. When I checked the thermostat, I had another startling realization: someone had turned the heat up to 78 degrees (my house had hit 73 at that point). (Normally we keep it at 65.)

“WHO,” I roared, “TURNED THE HEAT UP TO 78?”

“Hee hee hee,” my eight year old giggled nervously, “ha, ha, ha.” She raised her hand. “Well,” she said. “I was cold.”

“Do you not understand what a waste that is?” I said. “Not just the money (though it’s expensive to heat a house) but it wastes energy. Do you have any idea how much gas we use to raise the temperature that high?”

My son sniggered.

He slapped his hand on his face.

He sniggered again.

“Gas,” he said.

He fell on the floor in a fit of the giggles.

“You said gas,” he snorted.

My daughter started laughing too. “Mom needs gas,” she said.

Leo howled, laughing so hard that –


It was, in truth, a glorious fart.

“I think I just gave you some extra gas,” he said, wiping the tears from his eyes. “Want some more?”


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