I might be wrong about this, but I think there may be an unwritten rule among men concerning the use of chainsaws. I’m not talking about the professional guys you see turning redwoods into chopsticks on those weird sporting event programs on cable TV—you know, the shows where everyone is named either Thor or Gunnar, where they all have biceps the size of Coleman coolers. No, the men to whom I’m referring are the weekend warriors, the ones with names like Bob and Harvey, the guys with normal biceps.
This unwritten rule goes something like this:
I came to this conclusion when a storm brought down just such a tree in our backyard. It was obvious that this was not going to be a clean-up job for the faint-hearted. But then, my husband has never been accused of being that. No, not my Dan. I think he comes closer to belonging in the Eternally Optimistic category when it comes to areas of Certain Death or Dismemberment.
“You always see the glass half empty, don’t you?” he asks.
Well, yes. When the glass happens to be fifty feet in the air. And there's spikey, leg-sized tree limbs waiting to impale you below. Yeah, it’s hard to see the glass at all.
This, however, did not deter him from hacking into the wreckage of the tree with all the enthusiasm of a kid with a new plastic Light Saber, while I stood out of harm’s way clutching a phone pre-dialed to 911.
To be honest, Mr. Optimistic has every right to his rosy outlook on high-risk home maintenance endeavors. I remember the time we decided to save big bucks by refinishing the wood floors of our living room without the help of a trained professional. This project required using one of those monster sanders, the kind you always see on sitcoms, where some poor sap is all tangled up in the cord--wrapped like a mummy and spinning out of control from one room to the next while his frantic wife tries to catch him and reach the shut-off switch. Why she never just pulls the plug is beyond me, but I guess that’s what the sitcom reviewers mean by, “and hi-jinks ensues.”
Anyway, our floors turned out great without the aid of an instruction manual, a surprise visit from the Extreme Makeover team, or a trip to the local emergency room.
Chainsaws are another matter altogether, though. But then, maybe I’m only projecting my own ineptitude and klutziness upon my husband. Some repressed, psychological neurosis tucked away in my subconscious perhaps, is causing me to worry needlessly about my husband and sharp implements?
Or could I possibly have, in the back of my mind, that memory of a time during a similar backyard project. I was carrying a hacksaw in my right hand and a glass of ice tea in the left. A bee had landed on my leg and because I am right-handed, I did the only logical thing. I swatted the bee…