GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted
Musings of an Energy Nerd

Casey Makes a Bet

Martin’s fifth annual Christmas parody

(With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)

Bob Casey’s business worries made him grumble, whine, and moan;

His solar thermal enterprise was dropping like a stone.

While certain clients wanted water heated by the sun,

The calls and jobs were rare these days, which wasn’t very fun.

The contractor regretted his decision long ago

To be a solar plumber; now his life was full of woe.

Old Casey’s face was worried; he had wrinkles in his brow;

Hot water panels weren’t requested very often now.

But on a roof in Mudville, when the morning sun was bright,

Old Casey felt quite cheerful in the warm December light.

Soon, winter would arrive, but now the weather felt like fall,

And Casey had a solar thermal system to install.

He liked to work on rooftops — Casey had no fear of heights —

And from the ridge he looked upon the neighbor’s Christmas lights.

He heard a truck pull up next door, and looking down, he saw

José, the handsome PV guy, blue-eyed and square of jaw.

José set up a ladder and he quickly set to work,

And Casey thought, “I hate that guy! He really is a jerk!

José, the irksome fellow with the brand-new V-8 truck,

A thriving PV business, pretty wife, and all the luck!”

When Casey understood José was working right next door,

The competition freaked him out; he mumbled, “This is war.”

José was cutting conduit; he worked with speed and skill;

When Casey saw his rival work, he had an urge to kill.

And Casey thought, “I’ll race him! That’s exactly what I’ll do!

For every panel he puts up, I’ll…

GBA Prime

This article is only available to GBA Prime Members

Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.

Start Free Trial


  1. DEnd2000 | | #1

    While paying off the bet,
    While paying off the bet, Casey was spied by the commissioner. Despite his many contributions the commissioner said that Casey would never enter the hall of fame.

    José on the other hand after a lengthy federal investigation was found to have taken steroids, given to him by a Doc in Florida.

  2. albertrooks | | #2

    And now the holidays can begin.
    Thanks for this years installment. It's sad that the need for speed will get in the way of Casey enjoying his weed. Speed, fear and jealousy really kill the thermal "lift".

    Hmmm Makes me look forward to christmas cookies. Perhaps there is a special recipe to induce some "internal heat gains".

  3. lutro | | #3

    Excellent poetry
    Thanks for the unparalleled parody. It's rare to find so much respect for rhyme, meter, and plot structure in a holiday pastiche. I'm looking forward to the sequel, where José and Casey race to set up panels to heat a pair of swimming pools at the houses of two neighbors. It would be interesting to see who would win that contest.

  4. BJPKC | | #4

    Thank you for adding to our holiday cheer with such an impressive composition.

    More practically, I am sure that this and your previous "Is Solar Thermal Dead?" article have saved me multiple times the GBA Pro subscription price by essentially determining my decision not to install solar thermal for hot water in the small SIP house we are planning. While the romantic in me still pines for a pump-less solar thermal in-slab hydronic heating system -- i.e., one than would run on gravity and thermo-syphoning alone -- the pragmatist in me recognizes that physics trumps romance every time.

    Happy New Year.

Log in or become a member to post a comment.



Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |