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Oh... Lord?

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Oh... Lord?

Janis Joplin offers inspiration for chores

As I mosey on towards curmudgeondon (a state of greaseless sarcasm, unwavering negativity and the optimism of a leper), I still have to do my chores.

Chores are things you do just to maintain and if you have acres of trees, you also have acres of chores. Like clearing out the casualties; the snow-broken, tortured, twisted failures of the battle to gain favor with the sun. Many don’t make the struggle and if you ignore things for long, don’t expect it to be pretty. If you can’t walk the dog without taking along a chain saw, your woodlot needs tending.

This can tie up an astounding amount of “free time” (time you get to work for free)! Like the rest of my neighbors, I can’t afford to hire it done and, therefore, I’m about 20 years behind schedule. But I’m optimistic that somehow, some way, I’ll manage to get all eight of my acres ‘parked out’ at the same time or a meteor will strike nearby and make it all a moot point. I’ve got a little side money on the meteor.

I may have to give up something to accomplish this state of woodsy nirvana, however; like sleep and the two forms of entertainment I can still rely on these days. Mainly developing trick answers to give telemarketers and trying to figure out our universal remote.

If I’m in a forestry mood, I’ll wander around with a pole saw, pruners, chain saw and a roll of TP in case I run into a moose, cougar, bear or feral ‘beefalo’ doin’ the same thing. I limb everything up so I don’t have to duck anywhere as I go wanderin’. Then I toss out a rope fer a choker, pile on enough slash to ensure the possibility of a pretty good hernia and start pullin’ it toward a designated burn area. I call this “jivin’.

If any firewood happens to be a by-product, it gets chucked in the general direction of the wood shed. I used to do a lot of this shuckin’ and jivin’. It kept me in shape and almost out of trouble. Then I bulged a disc, racked my sacroiliac, lost my stride, pride, momentum and a decent six pack.

By the time I got back to my version of forest management, I’d become the poster boy for the National Atrophy Foundation. I found it doesn’t pay much though, and had to think up something that would. I’m still at it.

It’s hard to bounce back if you ain’t made of rubber. Back before I bulged that disc, my muscles were tight and my ligaments loose, cartilage strong and a light caboose.

Anymore, my muscles are slight, my roost is loose and that six-pack looks more like a keg.

It’s yer typical conundrum. Seriously! Work yer butt off to keep yerself and place in shape only to end up with compressed cartilage, lackadaisical ligaments, torn tendons and a pain killer monkey poking your ribs with a broomstick.

Something has to give eventually and it’s probably gonna be you.

I used to be able to consistently uproot two-inch thick ‘jacks’ with no problems; even bigger if I put my mind on politics. Now, I’m down to one-inchers and seem to be struggling with even them!

Pulling trees is something you can do when you ain’t doin’ nothin’! It’s easy, really. Say you want a weather report. You go outside, look up, and get one. If you need a long range version, you head uphill a ways to get one of them. Along the way, yer bound to walk past a few overgrown pine cones who don’t belong where they are. Yank ‘em out of the ground while you still can ‘cause next time you meet, it might kick yer butt and make you walk home like Quasimodo mumbling promises to God about exercising more.

I use it therapeutically to settle out the angst and anger of a really crappy mood. Ones brought on by tailgaters or the evening news.

But I can see the handwritin’ on the wall more clearly now and must modify my approach to forest management. I need help of a mechanical nature.

I was mullin’ over this very topic a week ago, when Janis came over the radio waves like an angel of guidance and inspiration! So I wrote this little ditty, inspired by her. You can hum along ifn ya want to. It goes somethin’ like this:

Oh Lord, wontcha buy me a big ol’ four-wheeler;

I’m counting on you Lord, wontcha be my dealer?

Relieve my achin’ muscles and be my one true healer.

Oh Lord, wontcha buy me a nifty four-wheeler?

Oh Lord, wontcha help me get over these bends?

My back’s screwed up and my head’s fed up with the pain it always sends.

Worked hard all my lifetime, made less money than friends.

Oh Lord, wontcha help me, my back (on you) depends.

Please, Oh Lord, I need one to keep my woods from bein’ jungle,

full of honeysuckle vines, assorted jack pines and miscellaneous fungle.

But they don’t come cheap, even if they don’t go beep; I’d be ferever humble

if you’d get me one, I’d have more fun and be less apt to stumble.

Rig it with a winch, Oh Lord, to skid small logs and slash.

I just can’t get it done anymore ‘cause my back has gone to trash.

A rig like that’s expensive, though, I can’t justify the cash.

So drop one here in my driveway Lord, with a pop an’ a brilliant flash.

Oh Lord, wontcha buy me a big ol’ four-wheeler?

I’m countin’ on you Lord, wontcha be my dealer?

Relieve my achin’ muscles and be my one true healer.

Oh Lord, wontcha bless me with a nifty four-wheeler?


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Scott Clawson Scott Clawson No, he's not the electrician, he's the OTHER Scott Clawson, who's a quality builder when he's not busy busting a gut while writing his humor column for the first issue of each month, or drawing his Acres n' Pains cartoons.

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