Sunday, April 18, 2010

How I almost earned a Darwin Award

I spent last Sunday tidying up the outside of my house. It wasn't exactly the way anyone would like to spend their Sunday afternoon but some things just need to be done. Those menial tasks involved transplanting a few perennials, pulling crap from various landscaped areas which were missed last fall and standing on my new extension ladder for nearly two hours as I scrubbed a couple years of accumulated dirt from the upper reaches of the siding of my house.

Not dead yet, I turned my attention to the front yard. There was a branch in one of my Maple trees which had beed dead since we moved in to the house five years ago. Determined to get rid of this eyesore, I grabbed my trusty ten-dollar bow saw and proceeded to saw away at the approximately 8 inch diameter branch. Standing on the next to the top step of my step ladder, this act alone should have earned mea t least consideration for a Darwin Award.

Not satisfied with my own stupidity, I took it a step further. After sawing through approximately 90 percent of the branch's girth, I, with the aide of my old lady watching from the safety of the porch, decided that some sort of makeshift pulley system would be wise. After all, I had seen actual professional tree trimmers do just that - how hard could it be?

Turns out that two tie-downs I bought a while back makes a damn good pulley system. It also turns out that there wasn't enough space in the crotch of that tree to make a relief cut so my saw wouldn't bind up and get stuck before cutting enough.

That's when my old lady yelled for me to tug on the tie-downs and just snap what was remaining of the branch and move on so she could collect my life insurance and go on to really live her life. The tugging on the tie-downs actually worked. What didn't work was the somewhat short overall length of them. Sure, they reached the ground but there wasn't enough length for me to actually lower the branch. So now with the branch snapped free from the tree, I had to hold it via the makeshift pulley system while climbing the extension ladder I had wisely repositioned earlier. It turns out that one additional arm would have been nice but in the end I lived to write this. Sure, my old lady didn't collect on my life insurance policy but spring has barely begun - there will be plenty of additional opportunities for me to off myself.

But hopefully I live to keep finding awesome photos of Minnesota for MinnPics!


Reuben said...

Last fall I bought one of those "saws-on-a-stick" - it was a saw on about a 12' pole or something. I was sawing away on a branch while standing on the top rung of a ladder when the blade began to bind. The saw was stuck. I tugged and tugged on that thing and couldn't get it down. So I figured I just had to put all my weight on it. So I jump off the top of the ladder, grab the pole, and hold on for dear life, expecting the blade to come loose. no suck luck. I was just left dangling 6' off the ground buy a saw-on-a-stick, and I couldn't reach the ladder anymore either.

spleeness said...

Dammit, I was holding my breath reading this post... SO relieved nothing happened. Hilariously-written!