WOW! Nice Chopper!

Posted: December 3, 2008 in Life, Spain, Tenerife
Tags: , , , , ,

The nights have been getting cooler here in Puerto de la Cruz and Tenerife in general the past couple of weeks, plunging to a cool 15 degrees. Okay, I realise that a lot of you out there might scoff at that, but remember this; most places here don’t have the luxury of central heating, so when the temperature drops, it drops inside as well.

So far we’ve stuck on the oil heater when we’ve felt a bit chilly, but there’s been a pile of logs waiting to be chopped up for some time and lighting the wood fire doesn’t result in an increase in the electricity bill.

But I have to be honest here, being an ex-townie, I’m still a bit apprehensive about getting the ‘big fella’  out (that’s the chainsaw – and I promise there won’t be any more double entendres from here on). When I’m using it I can’t shake the feeling that I’m barely holding back a ferocious monster on a leash; one that could easily turn on me if I didn’t treat it with a firm hand.

This morning any shreds of creativity refused to get out of bed and the excuses for not chopping up the wood had run out long ago, so for the first time in two years, the yellow monster was let out of his shed.

I pulled on protective gloves and goggles, filled the chainsaw with some oil, made sure everything was connected properly, the logs were in fixed position and no limbs were directly under the blade, gritted my teeth and pressed the button…nothing.

I checked the connections and tried again…still nothing. No roar, not even a purr.
I unscrewed the protective cover, cleaned out some sawdust, checked the tension of the blades, put it all back together and tried again – nothing.

By this time I’d wasted over half an hour and not one piece of firewood had been produced, so I thought ‘stuff it. I’ll revert to the old fashioned way,’ and got my trusty old saw.

Ten minutes, and the loss of probably about half my body weight in sweat later, I had three little round logs, blistered hands and aching arms. When you do any sort of physical work here you’re quickly reminded that you aren’t actually in Alaska, but Tenerife and it’s still 70 degrees, so the Grizzly Adams jumper had also gone and I was considering whether the T-shirt should follow it.

Dont let this man loose with a chainsaw!

Don't let this man loose with a chainsaw!

I looked at the pathetic pile of logs I’d cut and the three long trunks beside them and my spirits dropped. This was going to take forever. I decided to check out the chainsaw one more time, just in case, and went back to the shed to get a screwdriver to open up the casing around the motor. At the back of the shed my eye was caught by the saw’s instruction manual.
‘Couldn’t do any harm to have a look,’ I thought. There’s always a first time for everything.

I opened up the manual and second on the list of instructions for operation was this.

“Before pressing the start button, disengage the chain brake by pulling the hand guard towards the front handgrip until it clicks into place.” – AHA!

The hand guard looked in place to me, but I picked up the chainsaw anyway and pulled the guard towards me…CLICK.

I pressed the starter button and the machine bucked into life, its teeth spinning in eager anticipation of some woody nosh. It had never had a problem in the first place…except that it was in the incompetent hands of a complete dolt.

I’m just thankful that I at least knew which end to hold when I switched it on.

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