stealing firewood in shawnigan

there was a huge windstorm yesterday that knocked a ton of trees down in shawnigan. i spent a lot of yesterday and today grabbing what firewood i could from the sides of roads. it went well but it was a very different experience from getting it in proper firewood cutblocks. in this case, the wood was way closer and free, which was great, but the interpersonal experiences were pretty lousy.

the most notable events occurred when i drove to a busier road that had a good pile of wood on the shoulder. as soon as i got out of the truck, a 20-something-ish trashy looking dude in a truck slowed down and asked me what the scoop with the firewood was. as soon as he had done this, a car pulled up behind him and the driver got mad at me because this other dude hadn’t pulled over. she drove off irritated. the trashy guy got out of his truck to continue our conversation and was wearing camouflage fleece pajama pants with a big tear in them. i thought, “that looks really cool.” regarding the wood situation, i said if it’s on public land, it’s first come, first served. he looked in the box of my truck and said that since i already had some wood and was going to be getting more from this current spot, would i mind giving him the rounds in the back of my truck. i was honestly dumbfounded for a second. it almost felt like i was in grade 8 again, getting bullied or pressured to lend some piece of shit my deicide shirt (which i never got back, btw).

i still mourn the loss of this shirt. that was 21 years ago now, and i’m still bitter. one day, i hope i see the shitrat that took this from me. i’m going to take his fucking shirt.

thank christ i’ve grown some nuts since grade 8. i said to the piece of shit, “no. i’ve been busting my ass all morning for this wood so i’m not going to give it away. if you bring a saw you can help yourself to whatever is here on the road but that’s mine.” the piece of shit said that was fair enough and that it didn’t hurt to ask.

guess what, it did hurt to ask. it made him look like a lazy, shiftless bastard. what fucking scum. i can already see that loser’s entire future ahead of him, and it’s a shitty one. good luck, you walking turd.

then another guy showed up who had brought his saw and was super nice. we helped each other load 5 ft lengths of wood into each others trucks so we could spend less time working on the road. it was going well until the guy whose land the tree used to stand on showed up, pissed that we were taking his wood. my new friend explained that according to bc hydro, whatever wood is on public land is free for the taking, that it doesn’t matter where the tree originally stood. the angry guy was incredulous at this and told my friend to lose the attitude and show some common courtesy. then he asked us to put the wood in our trucks back on the road! i said nope, we would take what we had already loaded, but would leave him the rest. i thought that was fair. he drove off glaring at us. we finished up and he drove by again, still glaring.

the funny thing about all of this is that i talked to my neighbour barry about the good experience i had getting firewood on the cutblock, how i had expected lots of shitty, stupid rednecks and how happily surprised i was by their absence. he had said that the shitty, stupid rednecks usually stick to grabbing the wood from the side of the road and the good folks go do it properly in the designated forestry areas. holy shit, was barry right on the money.

as much as i like free firewood, i think i’ll try to avoid the windfall stuff and the angry and disgusting folks that go with it.

except this windfall, it’s awesome. dead can dance rules.


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