Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Man Code

Being a man is not as complex as many make it out to be.While there are some subtleties we are, as a rule, pretty simple. We generally like certain things (boobs, fast things, explosions) and dislike others (ballet, cleaning gutters).

We also have certain responsibilities. One of those is cutting up wood. If there is a dead or fallen tree nearby, it is our duty to cut it up. It is, dare I say, a biological imperative. This is spelled out in The Great Book, also know as the Man Book or Man Code.

So when a tree blew over a few weeks back, I knew what I had to do. Cut that fucker up. For when you cut up a tree, you get firewood. Firewood is for fires, another thing men are compelled to make (Under Man Rule #5). I went out to the barn and took out my beat up Homelite 240 chainsaw and with a few pulls, it fired right up. I hacked up the tree into several large pieces before I got tired, or distracted or something. I left the job about half done (Man Rule #18).

Today I went out intent to finish the job. So of course the chain saw would not start. I pulled till I was blue in the face. Then I twiddled with the few knobs I could (Man Rule #25) Nothing. A reasonable person might be expected to try to find out why it wouldn't start. I am a (semi) reasonable person. A quick google offered no real help. CHAINSAW NO GO could have any cause. There are hundreds of possibilities. I looked at 2 (Guy Rule # 35) and walked away.

 Once again, a reasonable person might consider taking it to a repair guy. But Guy Rule #13 states that you better break out the tools first. Even if you have no fracking clue what you are doing you are obliged to use at least 4 tools (#37). It doesn't really matter what you do with them, only that you used them in the shop.  I downloaded the owners manual off the web. Cleaned the air filter. Checked the fuel filter. Adjusted Hi and Lo screws. Fresh fuel. Cleaned spark plug.

  Now I smell like gas and oil. It is a good smell. A manly smell.

 With everything adjusted and topped off I yank the pull cord. She fires up like a kitten. And by fires up I mean it somehow managed to NOT work even MORE, which makes no sense unless you are a guy holding a lump of metal with a string on it that yesterday was  a chainsaw.

  AT this point I have to give up. It isn't broken. I know this. But it doesn't matter. It's off to the shop. Do you know what they will do there? "Clean and adjust". Oh and charge me $60. Do you know what they will actually do to it? Tap it with a fucking magic wand is what. A magic wand that costs $60. I suspect there aren't actually any tools in the back room of my local repair shop. Only an array of wands.  They have wands that range from $40 to $120.  I'm sure my auto mechanic also has a magic wand but he only has the one that costs me $300 every time he waves it.

It doesn't matter. I have fulfilled my obligations to the Code. Now if you will excuse me I must try to get the smell of gas and oil off me as I'm getting dizzy.