Jimmy Tomlin: Beware of falling limbs - human and otherwise

Jul. 08, 2013 @ 01:00 AM

Be afraid — be very afraid.
Not to be outdone by Texas, setting of the notorious “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” horror films, North Carolina now has its own chainsaw maniac on the loose.
It began innocently enough when a simple homeowner, caught up in the excitement of pruning trees in his front yard, decided to get a chainsaw — officially, it was a Father’s Day gift — so he could lop off some of the larger limbs that mere manual hedge trimmers could not handle.
Then he went searching for even larger limbs, and he found them looming on a tree that grows behind his fenced-in backyard. Fearing a storm might bring the limbs crashing down on his fence, he decided to be proactive and cut off the limbs himself.
Meanwhile, the chainsaw maniac’s neighbors watched in horror.
“Dude’s got a chainsaw,” they probably said to one another. “He’s cutting limbs off of his trees with a potentially deadly power tool. Can human limbs be far behind?”
You see, the maniac’s neighbors already know of his decidedly lame lawn maintenance skills. They’ve seen the clover that renders his yard almost as white as it is green. They’ve seen the mutant weeds sprouting wildly from his hedges, like green, radioactive versions of Andy Rooney’s eyebrows. They’ve seen the scorched brown earth of mid-July, a product of seasonal drought and inconsistent watering.
The chainsaw maniac can’t help it, because lame landscaping is encoded in his DNA. One year his grandfather, rather than dig up several tree stumps in his yard, simply painted them green in hopes that they would blend in with the grass. Needless to say, that didn’t work so well.
So anyway, the neighbors have come to expect — and accept — his lame landscaping. He’s an otherwise nice guy — no felonies, no loud parties, no cars up on cinder blocks or dogs that howl through the night — so they say nothing about his not-so-neatly manicured lawn.
Now, though, he may have gone too far with this chainsaw thing.
“What if he cuts off a limb and it lands on MY fence?” they’re probably asking themselves.
“What if he cuts down a tree and it falls on my house?”
“What if he cuts off his own limb — say, an arm or a leg — or, egad, even his own head? It could happen, ya know. And worse, what if the blood spatters on my car? Do I have to wait until the police show up before I can wash it off?”
Unfortunately, the neighbors are powerless to stop this chainsaw maniac. He’s not doing anything illegal. He’s certainly not maiming anyone — not yet, at least — and he hasn’t even damaged their property.
He’s just having fun, channeling his inner manhood and praying he doesn’t ever give the neighbors a reason to call him Stumpy.
His mantra is “I am man — hear me and my chainsaw roar.”
One man.
One power tool.
One obsession.
Beware “The North Carolina Chainsaw Massacre,” coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579