It was the weekend, and I had just hired and taken delivery of a five metre high aluminium scaffolding tower. With no one to help (And YES….I do have friends, just all busy that day….or so they told me) 2 hours later the tower was up.
Hard hat on tight (just about….I have a very small head), I was on top of the tower and NOT ready to chainsaw AT ALL! I didn’t even feel like a real man standing with a chainsaw in my hand, and I’ll tell you why, because I was five metres in the air….. no sorry…..IN THE SKY!
I looked at the tree and the tree….well it didn’t bother looking at me. It was tall but thin, standing strong at the bottom of my garden. Now to add to the saga, to the trickiness of this episode in my life, it overlooked a walkway that was just behind my fence.
I started up the chainsaw as I’m standing on top of the scaffold tower,…..oh and by the way,…..not an inch,….not one squidgy bit of confidence was anywhere to be seen in me. Even if you had a confidence machine and tested me, your machine would shake about in your hand laughing at me.
I cut one branch, instead of falling, it slid bottom first towards me and hit me on top of the head….knocking the hard hat further down my face…..I could see nothing so I switched off the chainsaw.
Using both hands and all my strength, I pushed up on my hard hat, lifting it up off my face and head. WOW….I’m still in one piece! No concussion and no blood. I waited five minutes just to gather my thoughts on how that could have gone a lot worse. My imagination run wild……..
“What if I didn’t have a hard hat on when the big branch landed on me and split my head open, but the branch didn’t stop, then it split my whole body in half with each side of me falling off the scaffold tower, and then I would only be half the man I used to be and as I lay there in half, the scaffold tower falls on top of one half of me, burying me into the ground just like the coyote in Road-runner when a rock lands on him. Then as I lay there in two halves a dog walks past thinking I’m a stick and takes me home.”
Luckily none of that happened, so I pulled myself together, and leaving my chainsaw on the floor, I pulled out my small hand saw from my belt pouch. Feeling confident, I cut another branch……..and watched it fall right on my thumb as I held onto the scaffold bar, squashing my thumb nail and giving me pain I thought was only in Hollywood horror movies. It looked like I had taped a dinner plate to the end of it.
With no hesitation I climbed down the scaffold tower knowing full well this job was for someone else. I could see a man walking towards me wearing one of those fishing body warmers with a trillion pockets on it.
“Hello” he said “Your name’s Bob isn’t it.”
“Oh you look like Bob. Do you want me to cut that tree for you? I used to be a tree surgeon 25 years ago.”
“Yep if you don’t mind!”
“Okay….once I climb up there give me the chainsaw, I’ll cut it in sections and we’ll be done in half hour”
He climbed to the top of the scaffold tower, then suddenly he wrapped his arms and legs around the frame, his feet were up in the air.
He starts breathing fast “I forgot…..I suffer from vertigo, I can’t move!”
25 minutes later…..I kid you not!! He slowly climbed down and leaned up against the scaffold tower, looking at me. Shaking his head, panting as if he had just run up and over the top of Ayers rock in Australia, with nine fridge freezers tied to his back, all full of frozen food that we never eat and eventually gets thrown out in the annual ’empty fridge freezer’ day….you know the one.
With his eyes shut and using both hands he tapped the trillion pockets on his vest. At this point I’m waiting for him to collapse and for me to do CPR on him. My thumb was throbbing, and my headache was starting to mature as if it was going to stay in my head for the long term.
Suddenly, after checking nearly every pocket he finds what he’s been looking for. I stand back, I don’t know the man, he could have a knife but he pulled out a carrot. “Do you want a bite?”
He bites a chunk off the one carrot he was carrying with him, but still willing to share with me whilst having vertigo. He chewed with his mouth open as if it was made from a collection of rubber bands “Bob….I’m sorry about that, it’s just I’ve not done it for a long time….anyway I’ve got to go….Bye”
I was about to tell him again “I’m Dave, not Bob,” but what was the point, I’ve got a swollen thumb with my nail going black, a headache, a scaffold tower that I need to dismantle and a tree that after all of this, still stands.
So what have I learnt?
Well, I will be ‘leafing’ this job there, I’ll be ‘barking’ mad if I try this again and I would be taking the ‘pith’ if I thought I could ‘branch’ out cutting trees, and for the man that disappeared in to the sunset chewing on a raw carrot, may I thank you for the entertainment and the offer to have a bite of your carrot that was finally found in one of the many pockets you had on such a small vest with no sleeves.
As this is the Easy Blend, I thought I’d let you know what I’m listening to. Today it’s Stevie Nix – Secret Love
Don’t forget, you can buy my book Farrago: Ten Tall Tales here…. (click on the cover)
Until the next Easy Blend blog………..
Stay warm and fuzzy……..