Didja-get-that? I asked Cowboy Fan. He waved me off with a “Sure,” but I recognized that
look. It’s a genetic thing. Many traits change, but since the 6th day of creation, women have been able to translate the testosterone twitch of a man’s facial expressions when he’s forced to ask for information.
We were at the rental agency getting instructions on equipment usage. The young employee spewed a litany of Twentyish at us while jacking the cord of the chainsaw, like he was in a timber contest. Fortunately, we’re fluent in the guttural language of the not-quite-adult male which uses only adjectives, no verbs , and a lavish sprinkling of “mehs.” Unfortunately, the machine started, his lips were moving, but we had no idea what he said.
The gas can was the important thing. It was brand new. Cost $50. EPA certified. Spill-proof “Lose one piece off the gas container and you buy the whole thing.” It must have been important. It was the only complete sentence he spoke besides, “ You have 2 hours.” (Start the Mission Impossible music).
How hard could it be? We have a shed full of old prima-donna two-cycle engines, who have to be cuddled into starting by yanking your arm out of your socket. Even that didn’t work with 10 minutes of sweat after we got the chainsaw home.
“Squeeze the trigger?” the employee asked when we called him. “Never squeeze and pull. Flooded. Now. Meh.” A half and hour into the project, we still hadn’t cut anything.
When the chain saw finally backfired and sputtered to life, Dallas Cowboy Fan jumped in the bed of the pick up and I drove along the arborvitae bushes surrounding our property.
You’re probably scratching your head and saying, “What???” Well, let me just say…it was an idea. We needed to knock about 2 feet off the top of our shrubbery and the boles of the bushes were bigger than the fat parts of my arms, overwhelming our faithful hedgetrimmer ( which I might add, only needs a few curses and threats to be intimidated into starting.)
It was a 2 Stooges idea, (the 3rd stooge off at college, trying to get as smart as us.) We were buzzing along until the chain flew off. It took twenty fingers, three post graduate degrees, and two screwdrivers to get it working again. Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
Then it began to rain.
Back on the cutting line, we gave a few more bushes haircuts, then ran out of gas. Huddled under a tree, we did everything we knew (short of stabbing the gas can with screwdrivers) to get fuel out of the fancy $50 can. Our redneck workaround was to unscrew the safety caps and pour what we needed directly out of the jug. Tick…tick….tick goes the clock.
The engine had learned its lesson and started right up, but the chain refused to budge. It began raining harder.
We reached the rental agency at 6:01. One minute after they’d closed. I proposed cramming the blade into the mail slot, leaving the machine-butt hanging out. Dallas Cowboy Fan said we could cut a hole in the door and heave it though, if we could get the saw to work.
He returned the saw the next day. There was no charge.
“Did you find out how the gas can worked?” I asked.
“Didn’t ask. “ He waved me away, his face awash with a new testosterone look. He was contemplating his next project. Buying his very own chainsaw to cuss at.