Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Runaway Logsplitter

"Neither a borrower, nor a lender be . . . " That reminds me of the story about the logsplitter.

Don's a metal worker and he is a genius with a torch and metal. He made a great logholder for my parents when we first got married and he's able to make anything if he has the time. He has built several flatbed trailers and he even built his own logsplitter after we bought a wood stove and started burning firewood. When a couple of friends heard that Don had built a logsplitter they asked to borrow it. Don is a much more generous person than I am so he agreed to let them borrow his logsplitter. He figured it would be okay because it was a heavy duty hydraulic logsplitter built on a huge I-beam and was practically indestructible. It was capable of splitting some huge trees. He said there wasn't any way they could hurt the logsplitter so I shouldn't worry. Huh! Little did he know.

My friend Pat and her husband asked to borrow the logsplitter and Don lent it to them. Alan came to our house to get the logsplitter and even brought it home after a couple of weeks. I was in the yard when he pulled up in our driveway in his big red truck and just sat there grinning like a 'possum. He hadn't said a word yet. I said, "Hello Alan. What are you doing?" and he kept smiling and said he was returning the logsplitter.

I was confused because I could see that he didn't have the logsplitter with him. Don came outside to see what Alan was doing.When Alan realized that he didn't have the logsplitter attached to his truck he and Don went back down the road trying to find it.

They found the logsplitter a couple of miles down the road where it had come loose from the truck and ended up in a bunch of trees. Don and Alan wrestled it out of the undergrowth and hooked it back up to the trailer hitch and brought it home.

I'm sure I teased Alan mercilessly for losing the logsplitter and not even noticing it and I know I told Pat what a bonehead he was. She had always been aware of Alan's imperfections before and had told good natured stories about him so I didn't think it would make her mad. But not long after that incident I called Pat and she never returned my phone calls. I tried to talk to her several times and she never ever called again. I finally got the message and quit calling her. Oh well.

I couldn't figure out what I had done that was so awful that she wouldn't talk to me but over the years I have seen several friends fall by the wayside. It really hurt my feelings to lose a friend without understanding why. Years later Don admitted that he had told Alan off and told him what a dumbass he was when they had gone back to get the logsplitter. He was really mad at Alan for losing the logsplitter and for not even realizing it until he got to our house. Maybe that's why Pat didn't talk to me again. I just don't know.

Next it was Don's childhood friend Terry who asked to borrow the logsplitter. Don even took it over to Terry's house to let him use it. He lived up in Crow Valley in the country and he had a lot of firewood to split. Terry had one cripple arm so he had been having a hard time getting all his wood split. The logsplitter was the answer to his prayers. Don told him to keep the logsplitter as long as he needed it and he could bring it home when he had all his wood split. Don emphasized the importance of getting the logsplitter hitch locked and using the safety chains.

When Terry was through with the logsplitter he hooked it to the trailer ball and started to bring it home. He got on Walnut Avenue, one of the busiest two lane highways in Dalton, before the logsplitter suddenly came loose from the car and went barreling across both lanes of oncoming traffic and landed in the front yard of a vacant house.

Terry was so shaken that he came on down to our house and got Don to ride back up there and help him get the logsplitter. They brought the logsplitter home.

After these two incidents we didn't lend the logsplitter to anybody again. He let his stepfather use it but he took the logsplitter to Charlie's house and went back to pick it up. We didn't want to take any chances of anybody getting killed, or hurt.

Like I said, "Neither a lender, nor a borrower be." Now you know why it doesn't pay to lend things. We could have been sued if somebody had been injured when the logsplitter was being hauled around by some careless or incompetent person. Thank goodness nobody was injured in either case but the indestructible logsplitter could have been lethal.


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