Unleash the beast! Pt. 1
Graham R. Cooper
Unleash the beast? Family in Switzerland and Canada sent photos of themselves in Halloween costumes. I reckon I’d be right up there in my electric saw outfit.
Shame on you for thinking I’m carrying around an electric saw to “trick or treat” the wits out of young children: the saw’s too big to take door to door.
The costume and make-up goings on looked like great fun. No fun to be had in my fancy dress.
I was done up as Zorro – yet another caped crusader and ‘man in black’. Memories still fresh after watching episode after episode of the Disney series on grandma Cooper’s black and white TV in the late 1950s.
A costume that my mum had cut out and sewn up for me out of crepe paper. We were watching King Neptune, trident held high, rise from the depths of the ship’s swimming pool, when my trousers snagged on some metal protuberance or other – the hazards of life on the high seas!
All joy in the crossing the equator festivities evaporated – I’d torn my Zorro pants from bum to knee. Shame – everyone could see my undies! Seven years old and self-conscious in extremis. I wanted to become invisible or failing that, at least disappear down to our cabin, but I had to stay for what seemed liked forever, in close to mum, hiding my backside as best I could.
It was the Halloween fun of grandkids that took me back to that day, voyaging on the ship that brought us pommy Coopers out to become Kiwis of sorts.
Of all the costumes I wear around home these days – no, I’m not taking you into the bedroom! – my electric saw outfit’s the kinkiest. Our bee gear’s not quite so out there, and anyway, after twenty years of bee keeping we finally bid farewell to our bees.
There’s no fun to be had in putting on all that gear before I start sawing up logs. And no fun in the motor’s mega high pitch – not a ghetto-blaster but a ghetto-driller. Not visceral thump and throb, but all cerebral needling.
The ear muffs make it tolerable, but the other add-ons are all there to keep the sawdust, as fine as coarsely ground flour, out of hair, skin pores and various orifices.
Finding gloves that did the trick took some trial and error. I started with baggy leather gloves (not the safest option), also, sawdust got in at the cuffs and formed woody wads at the fingertips. After some searching and humming and harring in the Mitre 10 hardware store in Timaru, I found snug fitting gloves with velcro straps at the cuffs. Straps wrapped tight around the wrist kept out the sawdust.
Another great idea turned out to be not so great. Instead of hat, earmuffs and goggles, I trialled the helmet I use when I’m felling trees, which has earmuffs and visor attached. All-in-one and no goggles to get steamed up above the dust mask. But enough fine dust sneaked through and under the visor to make me want to scratch out my eyes.
The gear does the trick. Overalls do a great job, but to keep sawdust out of my gumboots I have to remember to slide the pant legs over the tops. And when I start to breath like Darth Vader I know it’s time to shed hat, earmuffs, goggles, mask, and to gulp down some fresh air.
The Joker from Little Owl Gully
Unleash the beast! I was meaning the saw, but I could imagine my get-up popping up in a horror movie.
Actually, not too far removed from ordinary life on the streets at the moment: hat for sun protection, ear muffs to channel podcasts and music, goggle glasses as fashion accessory and Elton John style flamboyance, mask to protect from Covid. And of course overalls and black boots are always in fashion.
Zorro can be the superhero and have his signature black costume and black mask. I’ll be the hero in my own story in my signature white costume and white mask – super cool!
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully for this week. Next Monday it’ll be more about the saw than yours truly. Well, we can always hope! . . . Unleash the Beast: Pt. 2
Thanks for your company. Bye for now.