Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Chainsaw Massacre

This post is rated PG-13

With the pool finished and summer rolling in, I began preparations for the beach area and undoubtedly the focus will be centered around the fire pit. The beach was what I like to think of a one of a kind addition to a pool area. It began with my father-in-law creating his own version of a mini beach, tiki torches, fire pit and even including a boardwalk, all tied together perfectly at the wife’s old house. The beach was the setting for many great nights, hanging by the fire, drinking a couple beers, listening to some cool music and enjoying good company.

Of course, with the new construction and Skip (Christy’s dad) helping out with the early plans, my own beach has turned out exactly as I would have dreamed. The waterfall flows multicolored off the back of the pool, rocks are schematically placed not only as a fire pit, but also in perfect formatting for sitting around catching some good flames and now all the furniture is in – I am so close to a big night. The one thing I was missing was firewood! A must have for any night at the beach.

There were a couple different options I had running around the back of my mind. There are always logs of wood kicking around in bundles at 7eleven, but I don’t want to be driving around a bunch of gas stations looking for a bundle of pre-cut firewood. Another idea came up from when I was at Costco the other day. There was a big box of endless burning logs and they were really calling my name, but I just wasn’t enthralled with fake wood in my badass fire. It’s like I’m the kid at the campground that has no idea how to start a fire, I just felt like I would be such a bitch. So after all deliberation I came to the conclusion that I would have to go Paul Bunyan style, sort of.

My shopping list at Home Depot would include my very first, shiny, beautiful, state of the art chain saw. Well, not really, I bought a pretty cheap one, but it still made me feel good and it didn’t hurt that I carried the axe on my shoulder through the isles. Beaming with pride, masculine worth, a chain saw and ax, I was halted in the isle by Christy and with a sneaky, smirking woman jab she smashed my moment, “Hey baby, don’t you think you should leave Home Depot their floor model and take one of the saws in the boxes from underneath.” It was just a quickie, but it took me just a second to pick my dignity up. Seriously, I’m ready for a horror scene, minus the Jason mask and now my wife just dominated me with sarcasm. As I walked away I whispered under my breath, “She couldn’t even tie my chain sawing shoes."   Now who’s the winner?

Half way home and we had to stop to fill my new bad boy up with gas. I am not messing around; I’m ready to start some goddamn work! As we pull into the driveway there is a fallen tree toward my house. Keep in mind my driveway is close to half a mile, so there are plenty of trees, but this one is just ripe for the plundering. The drive ends at the tree and like a Nascar pit crew I am getting the saw ready for action. Just before I begin to yank the chain Captain Saw-block chimes in with robust fear that I will be destroying the home of some bunny or squirrel, but I tell her at this point I’m literally so excited that I don’t care if I saw through a baby deer. She is aghast.

The saw is a little bit harder to start than I would have expected. It should start on the first pull, but of course there’s little buttons and levers and all kinds of shit, because why would it be easy to start a chain saw? So dumbasses like me can cut their hands off? Even though I had to fight through a little bit of disappointment I finally get the thing going.

With chain saw ripping and roaring in my hands nothing will make me happier than to shred the hell out of the base of the tree, so I head straight into the jumble of branches and start gashing like Freddy Kruger. It takes some time and a bunch of cutting through little branches, but I feel like a pro and I have made it to the middle of the tree. As I begin my incision to the thickest part of the tree I learn that my chain saw is kind of a pussy and doesn’t do the butchering job I would have planned. It’s getting stuck and kicking all over the place and I’m just making sure I don’t gouge my own arms or legs. Maybe I’m not the pro I expected to be – thankfully I remember the ax.

As I go to work with the ax I am getting really hot and it becomes a must to go shirts off, which I realize later was a big mistake. I do some easy chopping and realize that this tree is one tough motherfucker. It’s going to take some serious Mark McGuire on steroids hacks to knock this bitch down. As I get half way through the tree I realize I’ve been outside for less than a half hour and I’m sweating like an immigrant worker in the beet fields. I begin to think the Costco logs weren’t such a bad plan, but it has become personal with the tree.

I move back to the chain saw and begin a frantic battle with the tree. At the same time I start to figure out the ways of the saw but I begin to itch. Dismissing the small red hives on my arms and chest I continue slaughtering tree branches. Another ten minutes and I’m covered in tree vomit and sweat and the itch spots are starting to feel like I was attacked by a wasp. This ends the day and I begin running to the house. A shower can't come fast enough and I don't care that it begins as an icy rain, it feel amazing. As the water begins to warm I start to look over what the tree has done to me and I learn that not only did it have some kind of crazy allergen, I must have been home to about 12,000,000 ticks. As I pull two of them off my sack, I can do nothing but laugh.

I went into the tree adventure with such high hopes of raping and pillaging any wood I wanted for the fire and I came out of it with a new found admiration for the lumber-jacking profession. But let me say this, by the time I burn my sizable load of wood, I will be prepared to own the next tree.

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