A Fairy Tale of radiant problems.

Once upon a time, in a land not so different from the one you’re in, there lived a young prince named Prince Freddie. He was a handsome prince, but, alas, he was not the favored first son, destined to take his father’s place and rule the land. Nor was he the second son, who would inherit a goodly portion of the family fortune and start his own kingdom in a far off land. No, Prince Freddie was the third son, and as such, was expected to get a job and work for a living.

But before Prince Freddie could do that, he needed to take a bride. As the third son, his destiny was to wed a fair young princess from a distant kingdom. Shortly after their royal nuptials, Prince Freddie and his bride, Princess Doris, set out to build a castle of their very own.

The fair prince and princess could not afford the biggest or the grandest castle. No, their budget, while not exactly that of a pauper, was modest. A castle befitting that famous nobleman, Sir Michael of Jordan, was most certainly out of the question. One night, the young couple discussed what they wanted.

“Verily and forsoothe I say unto thee,” spoke Prince Freddie. “Truly my castle is my home, and thus a mammoth moat be our greatest need.”

“Aye, my beloved,” echoed the fair Doris. “We must also haveth ye grand room for entertaining, a fine, sturdy galley, windows in abundance so that we may gaze upon our tracts of land, and plenty of room for the fruit of thy loins to rompeth. Also, yon neighbor has that fancy-schmantzy chamber pot thou art envious of.”

“Lest we forget, fair princess, that we haveth not yon money-tree sprouting in thine back yard. We are not with endless wealth, like Lady Oprah.”

“Thou hath makest thy point,” admitted Doris, “What then becomes our most important need?”

“Why, tis obvious, fair but simple maiden. Remember thy father’s cold, damp and drafty castle? Tis comfort we crave most in our dream castle. We must, then, installeth radiant floor heating.”

“But m’ Lord, can we affordeth such a system? Is it not only for the wealthiest noblemen?”

“Alas, fair Doris, that is the rumor. But truth be known, radiant floor heating can be affordable to all. The minstrels on ‘This Olde Castle’ doth say it is a heating system fit for a king, without pulling a fast one on thy pocketbook. Let us ask the castle builders!”

Thus Prince Freddie and Princess Doris began looking for someone to build their dream castle. They met first with Ye Olde Cask & Flagon Construction Troupe. Lord Flagon, the master builder, was in the middle of a 200–castle development on the south side of the kingdom. His castles were sturdy structures, built quickly and priced moderately.

“We’d like to see something in a castle,” spaketh the Prince. “Your price range hath me intrigued.”

“Well, your majesty, as thou can see from our model castle, all our structures come with moats, grand rooms with ceilings like which thou might find in yon cathedral, blown glass windows, a two-chariot attached garage and a fine galley.” Lord Flagon handed over a scroll of the floor plan. “Also, we feature an automatic drawbridge opener and an invading Hun alarm.”

Freddie and Doris were duly impressed. “What about the heating system?” queried the Prince.

“Oh yes, you’ll get one of those, too,” replied Lord Flagon.

“Aye,” said Princess Doris, “but is it a radiant floor heating system? This be what our hearts truly desire.”

Lord Flagon looked as if he were about to swallow his snuff. “Art thou kidding? Art thou putting me on? Prince, hath the Lady gone mad? Thou hath no need for a radiant floor heating system, when Sir Dave of Lennox can provideth all the heat you need. Plus, you get air-conditioning.”

“Lord Flagon,” asked Princess Doris, “haveth you ever lived in one of your castles? Doth they not have cold floors? Are they not drafty, damp and dusty? Aye, tis true my husband is not Sir Moneybags, but neither are we knaves. We knoweth what we want, wouldst thou please stop flapping thy gums, and giveth us thy straight poop on radiant heating.”

Well, legend has it the conversation deteriorated from there, with threats of beheading, one-way vacations to the dungeon and trips to Ye Olde Small Claims Court. Freddie and Doris decided it would be best to check out another builder, Century 14 Castles. During their meeting with the master builder, Doris and Freddie knew they met their man.

“Tell me, m’ Lord and m’ Lady, what features would you like in your new castle,” asked the builder.

“Well,” said the Prince, “we would very much like a radiant floor heating system. It will keep the castle cozy and comfy.”

“A wise decision,” spaketh the builder. “We have built scores of castles with radiant floor heating, and the denizens therein raveth on and on.”

“I beseech thee,” chimed Doris, “what doth they like so much?”

“Where to start,” asked the builder. “Well, for starters, they love the comfort. Radiant keepeth the marble, stone and wood floors marvelously warm. Also, the air is not so dry, so their royal blood oozeth not out of their royal schnozzes. Tis cleaner, too. Nary a spec of dust to be found, unlike those forced hot air heating systems. Those systems are like sitting at the business end of a gassy dragon.

“Oh, my royal highnesses, there are many other wonderful things about a radiant heating system. Tis a quiet system, no noisy ductwork; tis also a healthful system. Yon yucky stuff that makes thou sick with colds and sniffles will not roam the castle like a bandit. Also, you get more usable space in the castle. We’re not taking up room with bulky ductwork. Also, m’ Lord and m’ Lady will be able to decorate the royal chambers anyway they wish. Your royal throne may be placed anywhere, without getting in the way of the heating system.”

“Speaking of the royal throne,” said the princess, “my husband also has plans for the master privy.”

“Enough, my beloved,” interrupted the prince. “I haveth one more query. What, pray tell, be the cost.”

“I’m glad you asked, sire. These systems do tend to be a little more expensive than the traditional systems, and that tends to scare off weaker souls. These are, after all, the Dark Ages, you know? However, I think if you weigh all the plusses of radiant floor heating, and add in the fact that it goeth easy on fuel consumption, I think thou shall be making a truly enlightened decision.”

And they did. Prince Freddie and Prince Doris had Century 14 build their new castle. It was a modest castle, to be sure, but they couldn’t have been happier with the end result. It truly was a comfortable, cozy and efficient castle. Soon, the royal family grew and grew, and Freddie and Doris decided it was time to build an even bigger castle. When they put the old castle up for sale, both were pleasantly surprised the radiant heating system actually made the old place worth more in resale.

And, of course, Century 14 built their new castle, which included radiant floor heating. After all, a man’s castle is his home, and they all lived ... aww, you know the rest.