A few weeks ago, Brendan casually mentioned he was buying an ax.
A few days after that, a book appeared on the kitchen table. It’s actual, I-swear-to-God title: “THE AX BOOK: The Lore and Science of the Woodcutter, a Guide to Axmanship, Wood and the Hand Tools of a Woodsman.”
Buying an ax is one thing. Bringing home a book that practically drips with testosterone is another. What was happening to Brendan? I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
But apparently Brendan isn’t the only male who longs to swing a splitting ax. This past weekend, when our friend Gene was at the cabin and heard about the opportunity to “split logs,” it was the most excited we’d seen him in days. The three ladies among us made catty remarks about city boys going all Paul Bunyan on us.
But then, we watched.
Gene and his mighty battle ax made mincemeat of our firewood, which, granted, is already kind of pre-cut and dry. But we noticed the shit-eating grin, and felt twinges of jealousy. It almost looked like it would generate the sort of feeling one gets when smashing plates against the floor or crashing cymbals together or popping a really big wad of bubble gum or smacking the stupid out of Sarah Palin….you get the idea. As we watched Gene whack the crap out of the wood, it looked — and sounded — wholly cathartic.
And entirely something we, females, could do, too. I had assumed it required more brute strength than we ladies could muster, but I’m a feminist, damnit, time to break my own long-held stereotypes. And where did I get this idea, anyway? My great-grandmother Lizzie was so strong and independent she could have kicked all of our asses at wood chopping. When she was in her 60s!
Time to channel some Lizzie. I looked at my pal Brenda. “You’re gonna try, right?”
“Shit yeah,” she replied. And we were off. First task, select the victim.
Then, she found the right distance and stance by doing a few practice chops, where she didn’t swing hard.
Then BAM! CHOP THE LIVING CRAP OUT OF THAT WOOD. YEAH FIGHT YEAH ARRRRRGHH. I AM WOMAN!
Next up, my turn….
Well, first I needed a lesson, of course. Thank god for men and their axes! And no, I’m not giggling.
Then, when I finally got my turn, I showed the wood who’s boss. (It only took me 8 or so whacks.)
Elated and floating on a high of awesomeness, what did we do?
We celebrated our new-found skill with beer, swigging it as lady-like as possible.
(Brenda has her hood up to ward off the mosquitoes who were attracted to our powerful aura.)