Thursday, December 27, 2018

Chain Saw

            I bought a chain saw. I am not a guy whose father taught him how to do stuff. The guy doing some work with doors and shelves inside our garage was working with his daughter, teaching her how to do the carpentry. That was not my father, who taught me to save money, stay out of trouble and hide my emotions.

            My new chain saw, I confess, is battery operated. This was very appealing to me because I would be able to start it without going through all the gymnastics of starting a gas engine with a pull cord. So yesterday I attempted to start my chain saw, but nothing happened. I retreated indoors to read the manual more carefully, learning that I was required to push the button labeled “Start.” This stuff does not come easy to me.

            But soon I was out in the yard doing my interpretation of Paul Bunyan. I trimmed a couple of dead branches off a tree. I leveled a stump – twice, for the first cut was not really level. I took down a tall almost dead tree that was ensnared in the branches of a potentially picturesque white pine. This proved to be a bit of a challenge. I cut the trunk, but the tree did not fall. It was ensnared, remember? So I started to cut the lower ensnared branches, one by one, so I could pull the trunk down. This worked well until one of the branches pinched the chain, stopping the motor. My chain saw was stuck. I tried to remove it by force, but I worried about damaging my new toytool. So I left it hanging there and fetched my hand clippers to cut the branch and remove the pressure on the saw. This worked well, after a lot of effort, and the saw fell to the ground undamaged. I was not so lucky, as the branch I cut sprung toward me and smacked me on the lip, drawing a bit of blood, and I had a hockey goalie flashback. But I swallowed my pride, along with the blood, and proceeded to cut up the trunk into firewood-sized pieces. I learned to be more careful, thanks to a jolt of negative reinforcement not currently practiced in our schools.

            Paul Bunyan, of course, did not use a chain saw. Not to be outdone, I found an axe I had not used in twenty years and split a bunch of firewood. How manly is that!!! Splitting the wood will help me cultivate another manskill: building a fire that my sweetheart can sit beside and read. No, I have not yet taken up deer hunting, but that does appear to be an Up North requirement.

            Kim is pleased by my new self – I heard her bragging about me to a girlfriend on the phone (though I did note the tone of surprise in her voice). Chain Saw Man! Did Paul Bunyan write haiku on the side?

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