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September 12, 2013

OK don’t freak out if you can’t read this week’s title. What it consists of is several pronunciations and spellings of the word “chainsaw” in different languages. Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Greek and obviously English. So what was the point of that? Why confuse you in that way? Because no matter how you say it, spell it or enunciate it, it still says and is the same thing. It’s a name given to one of the most infamous and potentially dangerously destructive power tools ever conceived by man.

It is also poetic. A solitary thing of deep thought and beauty when put into the right context. But before we shovel any deeper into this s***pile, let’s talk about something entirely different but differently relevant.  In the House o’ Saw it is a cardinal sin to not give credit where credit is due. It is equally vile not to show thanks and appreciation for a job well done. Ergo we take pause and do just that, telling a little tale in the process. 

During my 17 years in residence there has been one particular aggravation when it came to mowing the lawn. There’s a section which runs alongside the drive that would best be categorized as a “dead zone.” The ground is hard and unyielding. The only thing that would grow there is scraggly clumps of grass. It was like mowing dirt. So the missus suggests turning it into a little area using a large elm as the outer corner and building around it, (Note: women love making “little areas”.) a hedge and some fencing to section it off. Some posts with solar lights. Some well placed rocks to surround the elm and ivy to grow up it. Hmm what a nice little area, it was almost done...then the tree died. It didn’t happen all at once but it seemed that way. One minute it’s green and healthy. The next it’s dropping its limbs like bark laden bombs, making parking in the drive a stupid idea. 

So now the cornerstone of this little area had become a rotting, rapidly deteriorating threat. Worst of all the main body of limbs all hung above the line that runs power to the house. This made a safe removal impossible. Luckily “impossible” is not in Derek Sexton’s vocabulary, the owner and proprietor of Father and Sons Tree Removal! This is where the giving credit, thanks and appreciation part comes in. For a fair price he came out, spidermonkeyily went up and single handedly took it down. Put on a helluva show in the process with more Ooo’s, Ahhh’s and OMG’s than you’d find at any sporting event. If you’re reading, my sincerest thanks to you Derek.

Which brings us back around to that shoveling we were doing three paragraphs ago.  Right now (unless common sense eludes you) you’re confused and thinking-”Wait! Why in hell would a guy called “Chainsaw” need to hire somebody to cut down a tree?” Well all things considered— really big dead tree, above a power line, on a ladder with a chainsaw...umm I didn’t want to die.

But seriously here’s the thing: for myself the title of “Chainsaw” has nothing to do with lumberjacking skills. Nor is it a reference to zombie slaying or skills in that field, either. Despite my personal interest in and collection of antique chainsaws neither has anything to do with why I choose that particular power tool as my alter-ego. The truth of the matter is that the name was originally chosen because it worked at the time and it stuck.

Wow, how anticlimactic.  If it makes you feel any better there is always the deeply poetic, metaphorical side. My writing and life in general hold a great deal in common with the common chainsaw. Consider this: a chainsaw is kept to itself, away from other tools. It sits dormant on a shelf, often for long periods of time, and is only disturbed when you need it. Completely useless unless it’s running. But oh, get it running and it will cut some s*** up. 

OK, back to my shelf in the tool shed. You’ll have to figure that last part out yourself and may start seeing things in a new light...probably not, that was pretty vague. Next week: something less thoughtful! 

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or send your happy b-day E-mails to

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.



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