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Stupid Homeowner Tricks (or...My Trip to the Emergency Room

Stupid Homeowner Tricks (or...My Trip to the Emergency Room

 
Old 06-18-01, 07:28 PM
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So, there I was on a pretty Father's Day afternoon (my wife and I are DINK so I wasn't celebrating), standing in a tree with a running chainsaw. I had one foot on a tree branch about seven feet off the ground and the other on the top "step" of a stepladder that my wife was holding. You know, two steps over where the step ladder warning tells you not to step. My objective was to simply cut a large branch from the tree.

I know what you are thinking already. He must have fallen from the tree or cut himself with a chainsaw. WRONG, keep reading...

This branch is about 25' long and extends straight away from the side of the tree about 12' off the ground. It is about 10 inches in diameter where it joins the tree so a pruning saw was out of the question and I am too cash-poor to blow $400 on one of those new power pruners. So I am delicately balanced on the branch/ladder, with my trusty Stihl purring in my hands when I start to cut this branch down. I am about two-thirds or so through the branch when the massive weight of the branch causes it to topple from the end and go crashing to the ground. Unfortunately, the much thicker end that joins the tree is still partially attached...

WAIT! This is where a thinking man would have climbed down from the tree and finished the job with the pruning saw from a safe distance. Unfortunately, I was far too caught up in the sheer masculinity of the moment to do something sensible like that, so I began to attack the remaining portion with my trusty Stihl.

So I am cutting away and the chain gets pinched. I yank back to remove the chain and almost succeed in falling backwards from the tree. Thankfully I didn't. Undaunted by my near "fall from grace" I keep cutting, ignoring the cautionary whining from my wife below (damn females, what to they know about power tools or their proper usage anyway?!).

Now, I had taken into account that this branch weighs several hundred pounds and would be falling when I finished cutting through it. I had taken into account that my right leg, the one on the other branch, was sort of underneath it. However, since my leg was also a couple of feet to the side of straight verticle I felt safe. After all, Newton has long since proven that heavy objects are drawn straight down by gravity, right? Anyway, so I keep buzzing away with my trusty Stihl...

Newtonian theory never really considered what heavy objects that are long and thin and already have one end touching the ground do when the other, heavier end suddenly feels the pull of gravity. Why sometimes they don't fall straight down. Sometimes...sometimes they fall to the left, harmlessly crashing into the lawn. Sometimes, mind you only sometimes, they fall to the right, crashing into the side of the right lower leg of certain tree-climbin', chainsaw-totin' morons. Sometimes, the cut edge of these several hundred pound branches gouges itself into said leg, leaving a 3 -inch by 1-inch gaping wound in the flesh wherein close inspection would reveal a certain whitish internal structure (i.e. leg bone) that generally doesn't see the light of day. Of course, this "close inspection" would have to look past the pint or so of blood that immediately shoots from said wound and oozes down to ruin one of the above-mentioned moron's favorite athletic socks.

I calmly look down and note the severity of my wound. I look back to my beautiful betrothed and mention, again with a great deal of poise, that I will likely be needing medical attention. At this point, my wife looks up, sees the wound, and promptly proceeds to have a conniption and even briefly lets go of the ladder.

Fortunately, the ladder did not topple and, after four requests of increasing volume for her to take the chainsaw from me she did so. I climbed down from the tree, pausing briefly to admire my handiwork, and proceeded to care for my leg, wrapping the massive contusion in a towel, applying a leather belt/tourniquet to my leg, and hobbling to the shed to put the chainsaw away. My wife, on the other hand, bolts to put the dog in the back yard and retrieve her keys and purse. She returns shortly, completely frantic, and ironically informs me that we will be taking her car since I am in no condition to drive. I rationally considered disagreeing with her on this point but tact got the better of me.

Anyway, four hours in the emergency room, two bouts of wound irrigation, more pricks with a hypodermic needle than I care to count, a row of subcutaneous sutures, and one row of 13 good ol' fashioned external stitches later I am not particularly as good as new.

However, some good did come out of the whole affair:

1. I got to watch a fair chunk of the final round of the U.S. Open on TV in the emergency room waiting area (which I otherwise would have missed).

2. I got to take a day off (and likely another tomorrow) from work and was able to watch a couple of DVDs and much of the 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Open.

3. I greatly improved upon Newtonian theory.
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Old 06-18-01, 08:02 PM
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Ok, you just passed Paul for the funniest story.

Glad to hear that you did not lose a leg. hahahaha
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Old 06-18-01, 08:23 PM
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Agreed. Funniest, and best written, story I've read here in a loooong time.

Glad that you're ok... and catching up on your DVD watching.
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Old 06-18-01, 08:26 PM
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I think God punished you for your "duck hunting" comment in that racial profiling thread.


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Old 06-18-01, 08:27 PM
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Isn't being a guy fun?

My left arm could fall off and I myself would still insist to a female that I am ok to drive.

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Old 06-18-01, 08:33 PM
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I'm too lazy to read the whole novel. Is there a Cliff Notes version or can someone please summarize?







P.S. Glad you're okay.
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Old 06-18-01, 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by milkdog
I'm too lazy to read the whole novel. Is there a Cliff Notes version or can someone please summarize?







P.S. Glad you're okay.
Sure here you go.

JustinS = dumbass with a chainsaw

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Old 06-18-01, 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by joltaddict

I think God punished you for your "duck hunting" comment in that racial profiling thread.


!!
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Old 06-18-01, 08:40 PM
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Trying for a Darwin award?
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Old 06-18-01, 08:41 PM
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No wonder Justin and I are Caps fans.
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Old 06-18-01, 08:43 PM
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There's a reason, why, to this day, I have never used a chainsaw. Just the sound of one gives me the heebie jeebies -- must be all the horror movies I watched as a kid.


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Old 06-18-01, 09:28 PM
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This SO deserves a bump. That story just made my day!

-pedagogue
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Old 06-19-01, 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by JustinS
Newtonian theory never really considered what heavy objects that are long and thin and already have one end touching the ground do when the other, heavier end suddenly feels the pull of gravity. Why sometimes they don't fall straight down.... 3. I greatly improved upon Newtonian theory.
See, this was your problem. Newtonian Theory is over 300 years old. You're just behind the times. If you had been following Einsteinian Theory, then you would realize that objects don't have to fall straight down due to the curvature of space-time.

So you can tell you wife that it was that damn Albert Einstein's fault for refining Newton's theories just too well.
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Old 06-19-01, 10:11 AM
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Good story JustinS...and glad you're OK.
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Old 06-19-01, 10:18 AM
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JustinS, I know the fear involved in tree cutting. A friend and I cut down a large California Pepper tree last month, but not before we took a nasty spill. I was standing on top of the ladder and he was at the bottom bracing it for support. Similar to your situation, I was almost done cutting the branch when it started to fall, but the thicker end was left hanging. There I was standing on top of the ladder when all of a sudden I noticed the swinging branch heading our way...a VERY large branch might I add.

Before I had a chance to say anything, the branch which was swinging like a pendulum, nailed by buddy and threw him into the fence about 5 feet away while at the same time taking out the ladder beneath me like a Jevon Kearse hit on a blindsided quarterback at his feet. Needless to say, I went flying through the air doing my best Superman impersonation with the chainsaw in one hand (superman never did that!) and the ladder in the other hoping to somehow recover. Once I realized that I wasn't going to recover I let go of the chainsaw and ladder...then hit the ground hard. Imagine someone jumping off the roof doing a bellyflop, except on their back, on solid concrete. The chainsaw I let go of barely missed me and came crashing down into pieces about a foot from my head and the ladder actually hit me right on the shin bone (you know how much those hurt). Luckily the injuries weren't serious, I had a minor concussion and a badly bruised leg...and my buddy had 3 bruised ribs.


[Edited by wabio on 06-19-01 at 01:25 PM]
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Old 06-19-01, 10:22 AM
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Gee.. this thread sounds like it should be named... "How not to cutdown a tree."
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Old 06-19-01, 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by JustinS
...more pricks with a hypodermic needle than I care to count...
Hey, that's no way to talk about dedicated healthcare professionals!
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Old 06-19-01, 12:38 PM
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That's too funny, and I'm glad you're OK. I've been the victim of physics a few times myself, and I'm glad you can laugh about it now.

I agree, this has got to be one of the best stories on here in awhile. Well written too. I vote it best act of unwillful self-mutilation.
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Old 06-19-01, 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by BMAG
Originally posted by JustinS
...more pricks with a hypodermic needle than I care to count...
Hey, that's no way to talk about dedicated healthcare professionals!
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Old 06-19-01, 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by JustinS
...I calmly look down and note the severity of my wound. I look back to my beautiful betrothed and mention, again with a great deal of poise, that I will likely be needing medical attention....

I almost peed myself when I got to this part!!

Very funny story.
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Old 06-19-01, 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by JustinS


Fortunately, the ladder did not topple and, after four requests of increasing volume for her to take the chainsaw from me she did so.
I am incredibly impressed. If it had been me, I would have thrown the chainsaw while uttering extremely foul language.
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Old 06-19-01, 02:50 PM
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DINK ?
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Old 06-19-01, 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by mikehunt
DINK ?
double income, no kids

DINK
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Old 06-19-01, 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by wabio
JustinS, Needless to say, I went flying through the air doing my best Superman impersonation with the chainsaw in one hand (superman never did that!)
No, but Ash did! You should have chopped your hand off to match .

I'm glad to hear that you guys are OK after your tree cutting ordeals. Now I will think twice before going to trim my grandma's tree that's too big.

-CM-
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Old 06-19-01, 03:21 PM
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we should rename this thread to: "Trees fight back!"
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