Sunday, May 24, 2009

This Southern Life - Marv Gets a Chainsaw

There are many things that every southern man requires to be accepted into the ranks of 'Southern Man'. A hunting dog. A pickup truck (though most any man wants one of these), a hunting rifle, and a chainsaw.

Here in the Mid South, the humidity and rain in the spring time cause plants and trees to grow so fast that you can almost track it with the naked eye. Every year we have to get out and clean out new trees, bushes, and overgrowth that wasn't there just one year ago. You can use a hack saw, a wood saw or what most suthun men want: a chain saw.

When we first moved in, my wife bought me this lovely 16" electric chainsaw. It had the biting capacity of a rabid poodle. Sure it could rip up your arm in no time flat, but when working on a huge tree, it was not very effective. In the late 90's Nashville was hit by a tornado, and we caught a lot of the damage. For DAYS, the air was filled with the sound of high powered gas chainsaws cutting the fallen trees. I used my little electric chainsaw but most of the guys looked at me with disdain.

Then recently, We were helping my mother in law clean out a garage. The MIL lived out in the boonies, with 100+ acres of brush and trees. When I mentioned my love of chainsaws, she took me out to the garage where she had FOUR of them - AND then gave me one of them.

As I hefted the huge beast, my testosterone level went up about three notches. When I mix the gas, I put a little on each wrist. When I pull the rope and the beast howls, and rips through a heavy stump or newly grown tree, I know I've become a man.

My wife doesn't understand. You see, she grew up with all this equipment but it was her MOTHER's not her Dads. My MIL had two, count 'em TWO riding lawn mowers to mow their huge place in the boonies. We won't go into how she ran over everything from branches to kiddie pools to hoses when she ran them, but she did have two - and two good brands to boot. So my wife just doesn't understand the ritual involved in my owning a chainsaw.

The first time I powered it up, I didn't even have anything to cut down. I had to go looking. As the engine whined with a RRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA it cut through a 10 inch tree with so little effort that I nearly danced around with joy. My wife would have loved that. Every time I go out to my shed, I check on the chain saw. I check the oil and see if any has leaked. I hang it in a special place and I pat it gently as I go out.

Every man out there knows what I"m talking about. It's not a Harley Motorcycle, or a hand gun, or a huge stereo. It's a chainsaw, and only a Southern Man would appreicate it. I am one step closer to being accepted as one of their own.


  1. I feel like I should say "Ya'll" or something!
    I grew up in the deep South, Georgia to be more precise, but now live on the West Coast. You are way too funny, especially the electric chain saw.
    You need to add an "follower" widget.
    Come over for a visit at my blog(s) sometime.

  2. Saw your invitation in the Coffee Shop feature of Google Groups Help Group, and decided to visit. Nice work; and definitely stimulates the thought process. I was entertained.

    I grew up in Alabama and then North Carolina, and left after graduation from high school. Lived in California (Los Angeles) for the past 30 years, and only recently returned to the South.

    Fascinating transition.

    Thanks for sharing.