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After the 75MPH windstorm that came through the midwest hit Chicago on Monday morning, we were told by ComEd that 860 THOUSAND homes lost power and that it would be several days for some of us to have it restored.  I was lucky and went without electricity for just under twenty-four hours.

Although one missed the house by scant inches, two large formerly-vertical pieces of TREE still required attention this week – a huge chunk of maple that the city got to before I did, and a piece of black-walnut that they weren’t going to touch because it was nowhere near public territory.  Several inspections of this second piece as it lay blocking the view through my office windows prompted much consideration, and, with resolve in my heart and wallet in hand, I went and … bought a CHAINSAW.

I wish to someday explore at greater length the chromosomal pull that a power tool – particularly a loud and dangerous power tool – exerts on males of the species.  My first inclination is to posit simplistically that a man’s attraction for tools is completely analogous to a woman’s attraction for, say, shoes:  completely reasonable and compelling if you’re the shopper, completely unnecessary if you’re the (massively disinterested) observer of opposite gender, and completely polarizing in any conversation between those two.  Whether it is tools or shoes, I predict with near-certainty that the only two opinions offered will be, “of COURSE I need that” OR “you already have PLENTY of those”.  There is no middle ground anticipated here, in either scenario.

Since “debate with the significant-other” is moot for me, I was immediately able to move past the “discussion” phase to “procurement”.  I have been watching ads for years now for the model I knew I wanted, decided that the time was right, and went off in my best hunter-gatherer mindset in search of the quarry.

Let’s cut to the chase, here:  this thing is loud, dangerous, and FUN.
The logs that would take hours to cut manually are dissembled in seconds with this device.  Maybe that’s one of the attractive elements we’re trying to identify here:  efficiency.  Granted, it took longer to prepare to use the tool than it did to apply the tool, but we probably don’t count that as part of the process as we’re revving the device and making wide-eyed admiring oooooh noises right back at it.  And, on that note, noise is probably the second element of attraction.  I wonder if a guy revving a chainsaw (or whatever may it be) is in fact demonstrating the same compulsion as a peacock showing his feathers:  mayhaps we do so because we crave the attention attendant thereunto — even if the attention will likely be emphatically negative and run along the lines of “that thing makes too much noise, knock it OFF … except when the attention is emphatically positive and runs along the lines of “how big/fast/expensive IS something like that, and where can I get one?”  You see where this is going.

The job was done in minutes.  My office windows where the downed foliage landed are now a “horizontal-tree-free” zone again.  I have a new toy to chatter about with my father and three brothers.  Is this a great country, or what?

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