Friday, August 26, 2011


I hit the jackpot this school year.  With nobody else catching the bus at the corner with me, the bus drivers were nice enough to grant my request that my kids be picked up at the driveway.  What this means, for someone like me, is that if I'm having one of those mornings and still happen to be in my jammies, The Professor can catch the bus without me and I don't have to fear an early morning kidnapper.  (Anyone even slows down near my kid and you'll see how fast a 41 year old woman can run in bare feet and tie-dyed pajamas.)

As I waited for the bus yesterday, however, I discovered that one of the branches of our tree was hanging pretty low.  It came to my attention when a bus passed by and the branch scraped along the top, making unbearable noises.  I got an image of some guy in one of those trucks with the huge tires suing the pants off me for causing damage to his roof.  I was leaving for The Professor's parent information night at school, so I left my husband in charge of getting that branch down while I was gone.

Let me explain something about The Vulcan.  He almost never leaves his home office.  Seriously, his kids suspect he's actually a vampire and sleep with crucifixes over their beds.  The Vulcan is monstrously good at his work and really not very good at anything else.  He buys tools, but then he never seems to know where they are when a home repair crisis comes up.  He has plumbers, electricians, and landscapers on speed dial.  If someone's computer gets a nasty virus, he's the one to call.  For anything else, check the Yellow Pages.

I realized he'd had no more success than usual when I arrived home from The Professor's school.  I had left with a low-hanging branch in my front yard.  I returned to find one that was now hanging perpendicular to the road and reached to within two feet of the street.  I found an e-mail from him asking me to call the city and see about removing that branch.  My opinion was that the city wouldn't do it and it was his opinion that it was causing a hazard to public property and it was their problem.

I called this morning and the nice lady on the phone said she'd look into it.  She called back 10 minutes later to say that it was our tree on our property and therefore our problem.  She was very nice about it, though.  With dread in my heart, I watched as The Vulcan got out the ladder and the big, long tree branch cutter.  My job was to hold the ladder, which he placed on a slope in the gutter so that it tilted at a precarious angle.  I said I didn't think it was a good idea.  He said if it started to tip, just hold it.

Let me tell you, that branch was a son of a b*tch to get down.  It was about 6" in diameter where it was cracked and required repeated snips from the tree branch cutter, which wasn't wide enough to actually get its blades around the branch.  The routine basically was The Vulcan went up the ladder, did a bunch of snips, descended the ladder, then grabbed the branch and went around in circles trying to make it give way.  (I helped by serenading him with "Ring Around the Rosy" and "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush.")  After 20 minutes the thing was barely hanging by a thread, but that woody thread was tough.  I suggested The Vulcan go up the ladder, hold onto the branch, and then jump from the top like Tarzan.   He merely snarled in reply.

After another 10 minutes of this snip and spin routine (along with my rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus Go 'Round and 'Round"), the branch finally fell with a crash.  Since this was the first manual labor the man had actually done in three months, I offered him the chance to pose making a manly muscle with the cutter in his hand.  He declined...and ran from me as quickly as someone can with a ladder in his arms.



Anonymous said...

Joe is not so handy either. I knew a long time ago I was going to be the handyman in the house. I am the plumber, the electrician, the mechanic, etc.....

Kathie said...

LMAO! Dennis tries. He succeeds at some things and not at others. Not that I'm much the handyman either. We just let things slide around here.

Nancy Susanna Breen said...

Too bad Syd wasn't at home. SHE could have swung on it. (Of course, she's such a lightweight it probably wouldn't have come down.)

Anonymous said...

No wonder Nancy calls him "TPM" for "That Poor Man". Some men wouldn't take kindly to having somebody sing going-in-circles songs while they're trying to get a tree limb down.