Home Life It’s all in knowing how

It’s all in knowing how

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It’s all in knowing how to, or, how you understand the instructions. Of course, this is after you tried every avenue before reading those instructions.

Perhaps it is true about men never stopping when lost and asking for directions. After all, if you travel in the same direction, sooner or later you will recognize where you are. You may have left Colorado headed for Canada, but seeing the sign that reads “Leaving the USA; Entering Mexico” will, obviously, tell you where you are. At least you will know to turn around and head back in the direction from whence you came.

In a similar sense, everyone has tried to operate a gizmo of some sort before reading the instructions. And at some time you may have taken the gizmo back to the store claiming it doesn’t work. You demand your money back and threaten to sue if they don’t set matters right.

It’s about this time the store clerk flips a button or presses a switch and viola! It works like a top!

Well, that’s the boat I found myself in…, sort of. After sinking the price of two new ones into the old one, I decided to go ahead and buy a new chainsaw. Now, I’ve been around chainsaws off and on all my life. They are dangerous, but they are life savers, too. You can’t be afraid of one, but you must give it a healthy dose of respect.

I can sense some of you are thinkin’ I’m the bozo in the tale of a backwoods character who, having never seen, much less operated one before, bought a brand spankin’ new chainsaw. Salesman promised he could cut down and cut up 10 to 20 trees in one day with this machine. Bozo took the saw with him but came back a couple days later and claimed the salesman had lied and sold him a pig in a poke! He bitterly complained that he could only cut a half dozen trees daily with that piece of junk.

The salesman grabbed the chainsaw, gave the pull cord a yank, and the saw let out a roar and literally screamed for somethin’ to cut into. And at the sound of the saw, Bozo yelled out, “What the heck is that noise?!?”

I solemnly swear it wasn’t me. However, a few weeks ago I stopped by the gittin’ place and bought a bright shiny new 18 inch chainsaw. Man, it was some kinda purty. Came with a bright orange case and safety glasses…, and a black cap with STIHL embroidered on the front. Man oh man! I thought. I could look good while cuttin’ up tree limbs that had fallen over the last six months. Okay, okay. The CAP would look good…, nothin’s gonna help my looks ‘cept a face lift. Lift this one off and put another one on!

Anyway, I listened to the salesman as he told me how to crank the new saw. Now, if you’ve ever dealt with a chainsaw, you know very well how cantankerous one can be. But I was promised this piece of equipment was simple to crank and use.

Once I got to the lake where the limbs had been “lying in wait”, I got out the instructions on how to crank the saw. And no, I didn’t lay them on the table, I actually read them. They said to put the lever on choke, pull the start cord a time or two until the saw hits. Then flip the choke switch off and pull the cord to start.

Folks, I pulled on that start cord enough times in two days to have pulled the world backwards so we could live the past two days all over again! I did just what the instructions said, but the saw never made a whimper as if it wanted to crank.

The next Monday morning bright and early, I was back in the saleman’s face wanting to trade up. He asked, “Why do you want to trade”? I replied, “I would prefer a saw that will start!”

It was obvious to me the saw was flooding the carb with gas after the second pull of the start cord and the switch placed on the “choke” level. But after the salesman told me to “place the switch on ‘choke’, pull the start cord once, flip the choke switch off, and THEN pull a couple times, the saw should crank.

It did. And it’s done so each and every time I’ve followed those instructions. The only problem now is the saw will do a heap more work than my worn out old muscles can keep up with. Wish I could get some new muscles at the gittin’ store! Of course, I’d probably not know how to use ’em!

Galen White is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. Visit bossierpress.com to see more from Galen.