May 16, 2005

Oh, and the story about the pole lopper?

This one is from many years ago--after college, but before marriage. At my folks' house, we had several hackberry trees, which are basically elm trees with bad reputations. They grow big and bushy and they grow fast, which means a constant need to tend them so they don't get too dense.

We had purchased a pole-mounted lopper--the kind with the long fiberglass pole and the saw blade on the end--and I had spent the better part of a Saturday morning pruning and clipping the innards out of one of our hackberries.

Time to head in, and in what turned out to be an extraordinarily bad idea, instead of wrapping up the long cord used to operate the lopper head, I just let it drag along the ground. I was carrying the pole swinging low in my left hand, letting it drag just a bit on the ground, when, quite unexpectedly, the handle of the cord trailing back behind me got hung up on a stump. It did this just as my left hand was coming forward as I walked. The lopper stayed motionless, caught by the cord, and my hand jerked forward and then up into the hook part of the tool, and just as quickly the cord pulled down the lever and the lopper blade closed around the web of my hand between my left thumb and left index finger.

I said several bad words, and after freeing my hand, opened my thumb up a bit to see what the damage was. I saw a bright sliver of white down in there, which probably wasn't a good thing. I quickly closed my hand back up, and kept it immobilized with a gauze bandage for a couple of days. It managed to heal back on its own, with no need for stitches or anything else. In fact, very little blood.

Although, when I think back, I suppose I could have lopped my thumb clean off if I had pulled on the cord just a little harder.

Anyway, be safe around yard tools, and don't let things dangle!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 16, 2005 03:10 PM

My pole lobber is an electric chainsaw. I suppose it would remove your whole arm if it got loose.

I do admire your manly manner of ignoring a possibly debilitating injury and hoping for the best

Posted by: Larry Anderson at May 16, 2005 03:44 PM

Well, you know, in situations like that, you always have to ask yourself, "What Would John Wayne Do?"

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 16, 2005 03:51 PM

That's what I always do, Pilgrim.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at May 16, 2005 04:01 PM

as harvey birdman - attorney at law would say:
"ahhh, dangly parts".

Posted by: liesl at May 16, 2005 04:33 PM

I don’t John Wayne would have cut himself.

Posted by: jim at May 16, 2005 04:53 PM

John Wayne would have paid someone else to do the lopping.

Posted by: skinnydan at May 17, 2005 08:19 AM

Well, okay--so I might not live up to his example, but I'm only human!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 17, 2005 08:26 AM