Friday, September 4, 2009

Feral Wife: Two Chainsaws, the Ocean and an Untended Husband

So last year my husband found a weekend job perfect for an adrenaline junky: removing a100 foot tree trunk off a jetty (with instructions not to obstruct the shipping channel in the process). He took off for “work” that morning with his wetsuit, two Husqvarna chainsaws and on his bicep, a brand new black Razor phone (the latest and hottest at the time). The communication, my idea...honey, how about you get some walkie talkies since you’ll be working alone...One thing lead to another at the gadget store, and he walked out a couple hundred dollars later with the Razor (and a sleek strap to cinch it to his arm). He promised to call every four hours.

He drove to the bluff above the jetty and hiked his chainsaws in. Meet me for lunch, he said, right on time with his first phone call. I want the kids to see this...and so I parked at the beach down below—where, a tiny figure eventually appeared—head and shoulders—gradually looming larger: Aqua-man floating a pair of severed tree rounds on the water’s surface along the coastline to the cove we occupied, plodding out carefully with his fins toes to the sky, hefting each 40 pound wood frisbee against his chest and onto the sand.

My mother-in-law showed up with her camera. The kids crowed appropriately as their father advanced out of the waves, but lost interest when they realized he wouldn’t be stopping long enough to surf with them. They amused themselves with the tide pools, but the next day, we opted to stay home.

And that’s the day my husband ran into trouble. At the tip of the tree trunk he found the rounds manageable, but as he progressed towards the base and roots, they grew in diameter. So he decided to cut the remaining trunk in half, not anticipating the resultant pinch the weight of the two halves would put on the blade, lodging it firmly. He took the second chainsaw to cut the other out. It too ground to a halt deep in the tree. With the tide rising and dusk on its way, he didn’t stop long enough to consider calling. He still had the quarter mile hike up the bluffs to get to his truck.

He muscled the first chainsaw out. Then he began to see-saw the second chainsaw vigorously back and forth. On his third yank, the blade freed itself suddenly and the top half of my husband’s body shot up into the air. He had a split second to regain his footing, but he stepped onto a rock covered in wet kelp. He and the chainsaw went over backwards into the ocean.

And so did the Razor.

As always, he emerged from the escapade unscathed (and, he wanted me to add, with the mission accomplished). The guys at the Husqvarna shop helped him take apart and de-salt his chainsaw, shaking their heads. And the employee my husband bought the phone from the day before at Best Buy felt so sorry for him he went out to the parking lot, fished around under the front seat and handed over his ex-girlfriend’s old Nokia (apologizing for the flower stickers). My husband walked in to our kitchen at 8 o’clock that night lamenting the death of his Razor, but stopped short when he saw the look on my face...


Ethel Rohan said...

Don't you hate when something like that happens. It's like double-parking to run into the dollar store and on your return 50 seconds later you get a hundred dollar ticket. Great scene with those chain saws -- my sympathy's with your husband. He sounds like a cool guy :-)

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks Ethel...he'd like a Rolex but I'm afraid it might suffer a similar fate.