2012-04-19 / Lifestyles

A splitting headache


Lois A. Corcoran Lois A. Corcoran His trusty axe split wood for 20 years. But this week my better half wearied of playing Paul Bunyan.

“You wanna buy a what?” I asked.

“A woodsplitter,” he repeated.

“You are a woodsplitter,” I said.

“Maybe so, but this woodsplitter is getting old. And tired.”

“Well, then, let’s quit burning wood,” I said, oozing logic. But he reminded his bride of the cozy setting a fire in the hearth creates.

“In that case, wouldn’t it be cheaper just to buy logs already cut?”

Not in the long run, he assured me. Still, a woodsplitter comes with a hefty price tag, so I suggested my do-it-yourself honey build one instead.

A group of neighbors I heard about joined forces to make a “community splitter,” I told him, whereby each guy donated items he already owned. Their total out-ofpocket came to less than a hundred bucks.

“Nah,” Dan replied, “Too much work. Besides, I already found the model I want. It’s one of those fifteen ton –“

“Gosh!” I interrupted. “How do you lift something like that?”

“It doesn’t weight fifteen tons,” he explained patiently. “It has fifteen tons of splitting force. You see, the internal combustion engine...”

Thus he launched into the workings of the machine. Like an infomercial, he described its features for a good half hour as though I comprehended.

“...And the control valve allows you to fill the hydraulic cylinder...”

Meanwhile, my brain translated this to “blah, blah, blah.” In fact, the only thing I understood was the part about it doing the work of five men.

“...Who are free to take an extended coffee break,” I finished.

“You got it,” said Dan with a smile.

So off he went with my blessing to purchase his new toy. Naturally, he felt the need to demonstrate it as soon as he arrived home. And my normally camera shy guy proudly posed beside it in a full embrace.

He even dreams about his new woodsplitter. “If I could fit it in the door,” he said, “I’d take it to bed with me.”

Which goes to prove that love is blind. It can also be dangerous.

Owners are advised to wear safety goggles, ear plugs, and steel toed boots while operating it. “And watch where you put your fingers,” advised someone who apparently didn’t.

I just hope it won’t give Dan a “splitting” headache.

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