If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Burning the Evidence

Today, in pursuit of my ever-doomed goal of getting on top of my filing, I burnt a mountain of receipt slips and cheque books -- stuff that just won't shred -- from the nineties.

Burning documents isn't easy. You can't mound them up in a grate and set light to them -- I tried. Nor can you dump them on to a little fire -- they just put it out. Two approaches that have worked for me:

  1. Dump them on to a huge blazing bonfire. You'll need to keep turning until all the paper is gone, and you'll need to add plenty of branches or whatever to keep up the supply of hot coals. Maske sure you don't end up the next day with a pile of ashes with sheaves of unburned documents in the middle.
  2. Start small in a grate. Once you have a flame, pile on a few sticks of kindling. Let that blacjken and go for another layer of paper. Repeat until the flames are stable enough to add logs. Keep the fire mixed until the paper is all gone, then burn logs for a while to make sure.
The problem is that the pages stick together, and one way or another you have to counteract that.

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