Tuesday, November 12, 2013

e.e. cummings and the Log Splitter

At the memorial service for my dear departed friend Steve Gott, I sported a lovely and livid scar just over my left eye. It was so recently acquired that I had to be late for the service to stop the bleeding. It added some levity to explain why I was late. In short: I fought the log, and the log won.

Anything with 27 TONS of downward force deserves respect. Lots, in fact. Not all logs look as docile as the one in my picture.

I recall looking at the log-pile and thinking "these are nice straight ones. I don't need my goggles."

Force of habit made me don them. Just as I was finishing up (when such things tend to happen) a twisted bit of wood caught my eye, literally and figuratively.

I looked it over, fine-grained. It evoked driftwood, not a trip to the emergency room, so I popped it under the splitting maul.

Being hard-headed, again literally and figuratively, I kept the pressure going on the wood as the splitter began to squeal.

Oops. the wood split with an enormous pop, as an errant bit sailed toward my left eye like a planet-destroyer out of the original Star Trek series. Joe played the role of Commodore Decker...

My goggles saved my eye, and the wood skidded up my forehead. Now I'm going to be wearing the forestry helmet too.

Moral of the story? I'll leave that to e.e. cummings:

OSHA told him; he couldn't
believe it
(his sister told him; he
wouldn't believe it)
the Stihl chainsaw company certainly told
him, and his
(yes mam)
and even
(believe it or not) you
told him: i told
him; we told him
(he didn't believe it, no sir)
it took
a corkscrewed bit of
the old fallen oak
tree; in the top of his head to tell

(to wear his damned forestry helmet)

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