“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Oh, the places you'll go! (Chainsaw love)
Monday, September 1, 2008

Now and then my friend Fritz decides to cut down trees. I'm not sure why. I think he decides to do it when he wants to get away from his wife or to avoid some less-fun job she has planned for him.

Now, don't go sicking The Lorax on my good friend; these are dead trees, mind you ... dried out and prone to fall over onto a house during a tropical storm ... Florida pines that stretch for a good 60 to 80 feet.

To carry out this huge task he has two chain saws, a wood chipper, and he rents a cherry picker from Home Depot or some place.

He called me recently and asked if I wanted to help him. Frankly, I was a little scared.

"Oh, I'll just stack wood and stuff," I said.

He looked at me funny. Finally, I admitted, "I've never run a chainsaw. They're ... they're very loud. And those chippers. Can't they take off your arm or something? ... Has that cherry picker been approved by Homeland Security?"

But he would have nothing of it. One thing I like about my friend Fritz is he shoves me out of my comfort zone.

Ten minutes later:

Look everyone, that's ME!!!!! With a real chainsaw! And it is actually RUNNING! Woo-hoooooo!

Fritz had this all figured out ahead of time: He would get to go up in the cherry picker, and then he'd chop off a big chunk of tree, and when it fell to the ground I would have to cut it into smaller pieces and stack them. Picture this: Calm Fritz up in the tree, making one cut -- Look out beloooow! -- then watching me scurry about below, cutting this, cutting that, lifting, heaving, cutting more, heaving some more, sweating my ass off.

It took me a good two hours before I realized I'd been screwed.

"Hey!" I yelled up to him in the tree. "Why do I have to be the tree bitch?" (I stole the phrase from a girlfriend years ago when she handed me a pad and paper at a friend's wedding shower and said, "Here, you're the shower bitch. ... you know, the person who has to write down all the gifts and who they're from.")

So here I was ... being someone's bitch again. Granted, a bitch with a very-cool chainsaw, but still......

I yelled again: "Let me have a turn up there!"

Happy ending:

When my wife joined us later for cocktails, I got to take her for a spin. That is me, Ad Hudler, operating a cherry picker!

**29 days until North American release of my next novel, "Man of the House." It doesn't have any scenes with cherry pickers, but there are some amusing parts with power drills and guns.


Blogger Ad Hudler said...

This sent to me via email from a reader:

"I think the process of cutting the fallen tree into smaller pieces is called "bucking". I got to do that on Saturday. Much smaller tree, though.

It took me many years to understand the concept of a "choke", but I think I finally got it this year."

September 2, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

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