I Want More Power. Recycled Sundays.



You don’t have to be Tool Time Tim to want more power. I usually cringe while using a jigsaw, expecting at any moment to hit a knot and have the tool fly into my face giving me an instant split personality. I hate tacking down chicken wire or plastic tarp with the heavy-duty staple gun. One wrong move and I just know I’ll staple my foot, trapped in place while stray dogs sniff about my pants until my husband comes to rescue me. I can always remember my father’s warning, “Keep away from that. You’ll lose a finger.

Imagine my surprise to discover that, with the right tool, I can enjoy power and keep all my digits. We have a number of cultured shrubs in our yard. For years, I blistered my palms clipping by hand, so sore when I finished that I couldn’t close my fist enough to hold a spoon.

Recently I bought an electric hedge clipper. I mentally classed it with power saws, the tool that cut half my uncle’s leg off. Hating to be intimidated by a gardening instrument, I finally tried it out on a shrub. What a rush! Fast, clean, thorough, and EASY. I trimmed every shrub in the yard. When I started eyeing my neighbor’s shrubs, my husband took away the electric cord. I finally had a glimpse of what Tool Time Tim has been hinting about and why every male in my family put power tools on their Christmas wish list.

Jane, an elderly woman was telling me about her encounter with men’s love of tools, electric and otherwise. Jane is a small, rather frail lady. Her husband (I’ll call him Tom), on the other hand, has increased in size as he’s aged. Unfortunately, he is not a healthy man. One evening, after having a bath, he slipped getting out and fell between the toilet and the tub. Having more size than strength, he was unable to extradite himself. She pulled, he pushed and strained, to no avail. He was wedged tight. Poor Jane was no help at all. They considered calling a neighbor, but Tom was in a highly memorable state of undress and they would have to face these people for the rest of their natural days. They decided it would be best to call in professionals who handle these things all the time and have the right tools for the job.

Jane telephoned fire station and explained the situation. Tom was in no immediate danger, so there was no need to arouse the neighborhood with sirens and such. I can imagine the fireman grunting on the other end of the line. Who cares about sirens? It’s the tools that are important. The fire engine responded quickly, lights flashing and siren wailing. Tom’s apprehension mounted as he envisioned all the neighbors rushing out onto their front lawns. The first thing Tom saw bursting into his bathroom was a uniformed man with an enormous axe. Being in the highly vulnerable position he was in, Tom screamed and his now pumping adrenal provided enough energy to launch him free of the trap. The fire fighter returned his axe to the truck with a sigh.

Lately I’ve been eyeing another friend’s new snow blower. It takes a quarter of the time to clear a driveway and does a better job. Its noisy assault on the deposits of winter seems like a seductive and just revenge. Besides, she’s only lost two fingers. Well, and her thumb. Seriously.

January 1992


Click on the book covers for more information.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages



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