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Building a Nest

Jayson Fann's nests

I’ve known Anne and Richard for a long time. And Arciform’s been working on projects at my house for well over ten years, so I’m pretty comfortable stating that they, as a group, can do anything. Any crazy project I dream up, they can do it. Perhaps you’ve experienced this yourself?

Recently I read this article about human nests in the NYT, and it got me thinking. Personally, I don’t want one of these nests, because I’m more of a hedonist than a roughing-it kind of gal. If the nest had a good mattress and a reading light, maybe, but it’s doubtful. What would be really cool, though, is if one of my friends built a nest, and I could enjoy it and then go home. Kind of like how I feel about children.

But how much would a nest cost? Whom could I con into building a nest? Richard came to mind first, and I think I know why. For years I’ve spent July 4th with Anne and Richard. They have a big camping trip for the 4th, with fireworks and campfires and all that type of thing. I do not camp, of course, but I love to drive over from the local motel, freshly showered, with a coffee and some donuts, and check on the festivities.  Scoff at the campers, sip my coffee, watch the bonfire.

The bonfire. This is probably why I associate a nest with Richard. Every year he makes a HUGE funeral pyre / mountain of driftwood on the beach. He salts the interior of the pyre with fireworks; the goal being to light the bonfire and start the festivities with a bang.  But this is Oregon on July 4th. The driftwood is always soaking wet. How do you start a fire with wet wood? Well, Arciform guys can do anything. Richard pours a gasoline trail to the bonfire and throws a match.

Unsafe you say? Well, it’s just a fire and gasoline with a bunch of families sitting around. Nothing to worry about, right? The first year I participated, I was so scared I almost wet myself. The children were generally just excited at the prospect of fire, the dads thought a gasoline trail was a fantastic idea, and the moms? Well, after a few days camping with husbands and kids, without a shower, the moms are drunk. So they’re all calmly watching Richard pour the gasoline while I’m halfway up the trail to the car, 9-1 already dialed on the phone, with my thumb over the last 1, waiting to call the paramedics, fire department, whatever.

And of course, the gasoline lighting goes off without a hitch. No injuries – year after year. And then one year the wood is so drenched that even the gasoline isn’t doing the trick. Richard is laboring away, perhaps getting frustrated (hard to tell), when a ten year-old boy looks up at him and says, Too bad you don’t have a flame-thrower.

Richard looked down at the kid with a speculative look in his eye.  I do have a flame-thrower.


That’s Arciform – always prepared. Getting the job done. Here’s a pic of Anne and the pyre before the lighting ceremony. If Richard can make this every year just to burn it down, don’t you think he should make a nest? How about in your backyard? He can leave the flame-thrower behind.

About Nancy Ranchel

Nancy is an accountant who offsets the practicality of her day job with extravagant and outrageous remodeling projects, often involving massive amounts of scrap metal.  In her free time she can be found dreaming up new ways to turn her house into an art installation, digging through scrap heaps, and contemplating a world without plastic. Check out Nancy’s blog here:

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