Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Madness...

    It's hard to pinpoint where or when my brother Bob's insanity begins.  It's usually sometime between September and November when the season is changing, and the first signs of the approaching fall and subsequent winter begin to show upon the world around us.

    This year, it started early.  It was sometime shortly before mid-September when the first signs of his irrational, inescapable madness began to betray, what is normally, an otherwise rational mind.  And, it started with a phone call:
    "Hey Bob," I said after checking the caller ID and picking up the phone. 
    "Hey," he said in his usual calm and collected manner.  "What are you doing today?"
    "Nothing," I said.  "I'm being a bum today.  What's up with you?"
    "Do you have your chainsaw?" He asked flatly, and it was then that I knew The Madness had begun.  Bob already owns a chainsaw --a really nice one--, and the only reason why he would be asking whether or not I had mine is simply because there was something or someone in his life which apparently needed to be taught a rather violent and vicious lesson so important that he believed a back-up would be necessary.  And, in the face of The Madness, my only response was to ask a feeble and tremulous "Why, Bob?  Why?"
    "Just grab some beer and come over," he responded.  "I need your help with something."

    So, with Bob's insanity still ringing in my ears, I tossed my chainsaw in my Jeep and headed over to his house --stopping only to pick up a twelve-pack on the way.  The Madness, after all, tends to make Bob very thirsty. 

    When I pulled up in front of his house, I saw Bob in his slippers, with chainsaw in hand, standing in his front yard staring angrily at a rather large maple tree that appeared to have offended him to the point of evoking a Madness inspired standoff upon his lawn. 

    "What the hell are you doing?"  I asked as I pulled myself out of the car and walked slowly toward a spot between the two.  If nothing else, perhaps the presence of a potential innocent victim would be enough to keep The Madness at bay.  "Put the chainsaw down, Bob."
    "No!"  He barked and lifted the chainsaw to point at the tree.  "Do you see that?  Do you see what it's doing?"
    "Actually, Bob," I began, "I don't.  What's wrong with the tree?" 
    "Look!" He said as he stabbed his weapon into the air.  "The leaves!  They're starting to turn, and everyone else's up and down the street's trees are still green." 
    "But Bob," I began to plead.  "Fall's coming."
    "No."  He demanded.  "We have to cut the weak bastard down.  It's still warm out.  There's no excuse for this." 
    "Look," I said.  "Just set the saw down, step back, open a beer, and let's talk about this.   You like that tree.  Remember?"

    "I hate it." He said.  "It's got to go."
    "Either it goes, or I go.  There can be only one!"  He roared as he tried to start his chainsaw.   "You might want to move to move your Jeep." 
    "Wait a minute, Bob," I said hoping my voice was enough to pull him from the grasp of The Madness.  "Let's think about this.  We want the leaves to fall off."
    "What?" He said.  "I don't want that.  We have to cut it down.  It's got to come down.  We have to kill it.  It's weak!"
    "But, Bob," I said quickly.  "Just think about it.  The sooner the leaves fall off, the sooner you get to rake them into the street.  And, sooner is better because the weather will still be kind of warm, ya know?" 
    He stopped trying to start his chainsaw and peered at me with a confused look upon his face.  I could see my logic had begun to dispel The Madness. 
    "You think this thing is doing me a favor or something?"  He asked. 
    "In a way," I said.  "After all, how cool is it going to be waking up in the morning to watch your neighbors rake their leaves into the street while they freeze their asses off and the wind blows the leaves right back into their yards?"
    Eventually, after a few moments of deep contemplation, Bob trundled into his garage, packed away his chainsaw, opened a beer and mumbled something about snow as The Madness began to fade while the threads of more rational thoughts began to weave their way through his mind.  And, with another Madness-inspired crisis averted, and an innocent maple tree saved from the gnawing blade of Bob's chainsaw, I joined Bob in the garage for a beer and a rather sane conversation involving squirrels, a bird feeder and a few pounds of high-explosive. 


Tags: , ,


  1. God help us all.

    Amanda :)

  2. I loved your photo at the top of your entry. On Halloween ,my 16 year old son was looking to spice up the night and took the chain off our chainsaw, dressed himself all in black and put on one of those white masks. He sat low in the back of his friends pick-up truck, and they traveled the side streets looking for groups of teenage Trick or Treaters. When they found a bunch they turned the headlights off, crept up to them, then my son would leap up and pull the cord of the chainsaw, jump out if the truck and chase 'em.  I think it was his best halloween ever. Damn, I wish I was a teeneager again!

  3. It's the Sickness of Suburbia! This is not our natural habitat. One needs to fire up the chainsaw and shoot something now and then...or we go Mad.

  4. You, the voice of reason? Hard to believe but there it is in black and white. Nice one Dan. B.

  5. LOL... I love the pic!  Is it really Bob?  Great entry... cracked me up!

    be well,

  6. LMAO........a few lbs of is a great story Dan...I absolutley enjoyed it...I say lets hook him up with a woman whose a tree hugger and test the extent of his

  7. 2 men, 2 chainsaws & alcohol.  It's' all fun & games until somebody gets hurt.

  8. Maybe it is due to all that cheese? HA! Spoken from someone who loves cheese! HA! Maybe the green trees are weak...too chicken to change! HA! Conformity I tell you!