The Dangers of Home Wood Cutting

by Jim Farrar (1977)

I’ve had a pretty bad day. Boy, did I have a bad day. You know, one of those days that makes you wish you’d stayed in bed instead of going out and trying to make yourself useful. Just listen to this. You won’t believe it.

After breakfast, I told my wife I’d go out and chop down that cherry tree. She’s been after me to get that done for a long time. Well, anyway I went out and got the necessary tools from the shed. While I was walking across the back yard, I stubbed my toe on a sprinkler. I think that started it.

I’d been working on the tree for about fifteen minutes when I noticed I had a blister on my hand. Of course my first reaction was to rub it with my free hand. That was my first mistake. You see, I’d forgotten all about the running chain saw in my right hand, so I inadvertently dropped the thing on my thigh, thus severing my right leg. Well, of course, I couldn’t keep my balance, you know, with one leg and all. So I fell down. Right down on the axe blade. Doggone, it hurt like seven hundred hells. All that blood and stuff. Besides my kidney was starting to fall out.

It was about that time that I decided I’d better go in the house and get a band-aid, as my blister was really starting to hurt. As I was getting up, though (which wasn’t easy on one leg) the tree fell down right on my arm. I cried out in pain for it had popped my blister. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the sight of lymph fluid.

Anyway, I tried and tried to wiggle my hand from under the tree, but to no avail. I had but one alternative. I took the saw in my free hand and cut off my other arm at the elbow. What a relief, I was free!

I began to get up again. But, alas, I slipped on some blood (which was beginning to form a small lake under the tree) and fell on some pruning shears. It put one doosy of a hole in my throat. The blood began to pump like crazy from my throat, or should I say my jugular vein. I laughed. It was squirting so high that it looked like we were having a red rainstorm.

Anyhow, I cut out the comedy and got up again. As I was hopping across the yard, my son Billy, who was cutting the lawn, hit me (accidentally, of course) with the mower. I fell down, and I’ll be darned if that blade didn’t go right up my leg like a paper shredder. I looked up and saw my toes and other pieces of flesh lying in various places around the yard. Billy walked up to me and said, “Gee I’m sorry, Dad. You want me to pick up these toes that are laying around?”

I told him he didn’t have to, just take the mower off of me and cut off the rest of my leg, since it looked like a fresh hunk of ground round.

After he’d done that I began to roll up the back yard toward the door as fast as I could, since my blister as really killing me now.

I was almost to the door when Rover, our German Shepherd, spotted me. I guess he thought I was a ball or something, because he began to roll me around the chew on me. He finally stopped rough housing when he’d bitten off my arm and nose. Now I was really mad. All of the sudden, though, I felt a very hot sensation on the top of my head. I looked up, and sure enough, a power line had broken and fallen on me.

By this time, my hair was really burning and my head was starting to hurt. I dunked my head in a pool of blood by my left stump, thus putting out the fire and dying my head red at the same time. I was really starting to believe that this just wasn’t my day.

Anyway, I made it to the back door and managed to open it with my teeth. When I rolled in my wife was standing near the oven cutting a roast. I guess I must have startled her, because she turned around and dropped her butcher knife right on my shoulder. A big hunk of flesh fell off on the ground. It looked like a piece of scarlet bread.

She looked at me and said, “Had an accident, huh?”

“A little one,” I said.

“I wish you’d go outside and wash that off. You’re dripping blood all over my clean floor. And after you do that, you can drive me down to the store.”

“No way,” I replied. “It’s just too damn dangerous to drive a car these days.”

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