You’re thinking I gave up aren’t you. You should know better than that! I said a wise man would give up. I didn’t say I gave up!
I drove to a friend’s house. It was nearby and therefore a great excuse to procrastinate. On the way I calculated angles and turned over the problem in my head. Eventually I realized I’d passed my friend’s driveway and gone several miles too far. Who thought chainsaws and trees would become a mental game?
After my truck, the Little Pony Trailer, and I executed a laborious U-turn on a narrow road I pulled into my friend’s driveway. A party of ladies, including Mrs. Curmudgeon, had just finished butchering chickens. (Excellent timing on my part!)
Everyone was covered in gore (if you’ve never butchered chickens you have no idea!). Also Mrs. Curmudgeon had suffered a painful hornet sting. Good times.
To my surprise everyone was in high spirits. A job well done will do that! I was given a delicious iced tea and some snacks. You gotta’ hand it to women. If a bunch of guys had just finished butchering, the only refreshment would be a stale bag of chips and a case of lukewarm beer. Also, and this is key, they listened to my tale of woe about the killer tree that was going to decapitate me and destroy the house. I’m pretty sure they didn’t give a shit but they nodded politely and kept pushing food at me. If it had been a gathering of men everyone would have advice (all of it bad) and this would be followed by many tales of people who had been disemboweled, dismembered, or at the very least gotten hammered in the balls by a disagreeable trees. Once I was totally paranoid I would be kicked out the door with three beers in my stomach and orders to get the tree on the ground and quit whining like a little pussy.
Eventually the man of the house arrived and I begged to borrow some chains. Soon the “Pony Trailer” was laden with 50 pounds in chain. Then I took a spin in his new Bobcat. I’m pretty sure the closest a normal human being gets to personally owning a fighting robot is a tracked skid steer. It’s good to be alive. We amused ourselves driving it around and listening to the delightful churn of hydraulic awesomeness. (My old tractors are to his new skid steer as a skateboard is to an aircraft carrier.) Eventually I could delay no more.
I set out to deal with the tree with a heavy heart. I had a plan so things moved quickly. Soon I had two chains and a tow strap strung from my truck to my first problem; the blasted, leaning, still hooked to the top of the tree, exploded top.
The best way to damage a truck is to loan it to a friend. The second best way is to hook it to something immobile and slam the drivetrain around. Caution was in order. I inched the chain back, quailed, then inched forward and got out to survey the situation. Lather rinse repeat. Each time I made subtle progress. Each time the splits in the tree seemed more ominous. On the fourth iteration I got the top separated from the tree and inched it a couple feet back. No trucks were harmed in this process.
Meanwhile, farm animals (which are free range) gathered to observe my progress. I wound up unhooking the chain under the watchful eye of six chickens, a dog, two ducks, a goose, a pot bellied pig, and a very nervous Mrs. Curmudgeon who was clutching a cell phone and wondering how much life insurance I have.
With the preliminaries done, I moved the truck so far from the tree that it could have been filled with grenades and the truck would be safe, grabbed my saw, and started muttering about how I should have become a rodeo clown. I decided I needed another break…