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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Its back to writing then ...

Today was an auspicious day; after over twenty years in this country, today I joined the ranks of the true Kiwi Bloke. I have mentioned before about the KB's shed - the place where a Bloke goes to tinker with his tools, get away from "her indoors" and take a drink or two from his beer fridge. I do not possess such a shed; I am not a real KB. But today I purchased the iconic KB's tool - a chain saw. It's my very first chain saw. For twenty years I have wanted a chain saw, today I got one and entered the ranks of Kiwi Blokedom.

The first thing you have to do with a chain saw is assemble the thing; the chain has to be put on the chain bar (the right way around) the chain fitted to the drive and then tensioned. It took me about twenty minutes. I am told that a trained KB can strip and reassemble his chain saw in under two minutes ... blind folded. I have to practice.

But I cut down my first tree. I finessed an undercut wedge on the falling side, then a perfect back cut until the tree started to totter. As the tree-top described a perfect arc towards the ground, the bridge made a satisfying crack followed by a resounding thud as it hit the ground - just short of the rabbit's hutch. Wow! Now I begin to understand what its all about - its about power; its about bringing a seven meter conifer to the ground with just a couple of careful cuts of the mighty chain saw - my chain saw.

I fell a second tree.

That's when the neighbour stuck his head over the fence, "Got yourself a chain saw then?" he said, smiling.

"Sure have," I said, holding the Red Monster up for inspection.

The smile faded from his face. "Aw, mate, its electric."

"Yes, nearly two thousand watts," I said, joyfully.

"Not a real chain saw," he replied. "You aint goin'ta go out in the bush with that. Why didn't you get a petrol one?"

He was right of course, and I knew it. My Red Monster would never fell a tree out in the forest, it was more of a Red Domesticated Pet, and I had just failed the entry test to authentic Kiwi Blokedom.

"Well, gotta run. Jobs to do," he said. "Catchya later" and with that, he was gone.

I pulled the plug, coiled the cord, and carried the RDP back to the garage. The story would be all around the district before closing time. Perhaps in another twenty years people may have forgotten this incident and I could turn up with a real, petrol powered, Red Monster.

Meantime, its back to the pen; after all the pen is mightier than the chain saw - goodness knows how many trees worth of paper I use in a year.

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