This is the story of an otherwise average husband  who managed to acquire  one of the most popular tools for men: the chain saw, in an exceptional way.

It is best not to ask why a man who lives in the suburbs needs a chain saw. In fact for years the wife of this average fellow asked that very question, often quite loudly in the crowded aisles of Home Depot. At the time, the beleaguered male did not have an answer except that a chain saw  makes a satisfactorily loud noise, is dangerous, sharp   and turns big pieces of wood into small pieces of wood. It would be a very practical tool but for the fact that the man’s current home came equipped with two gas fireplaces.

Then the  husband attended his first lesbian poetry reading.

His attendance was not driven by an elaborate agenda well thought out ahead of time. It was more spontaneous than that. His wife was invited to read some of her work at a local and quite infamous venue and she, the wife, accepted with alacrity; an audience is an audience. He quickly realized that if he wanted to have any sex anytime during the next six months, he damn well better not only attend his wife’s poetry reading, but he better smile about it. Anyone can do this for one night.

The reading was held at a tiny coffee shop that was not only infamous for supporting events that included poetry and interpretive dance, but it held the dubious honor locally for providing the slowest service in town.

Resigned, and remembering to smile at his wife every so often, our average hero sat at the far end of the tiny performance room as he was the only male within three hundred yards, hunched down and concentrated on survival. He did recognize that on the bright side, there would be no lines for the men’s room. However since there are never any lines in the men’s room, this was not a stand out feature of the evening.

For three hours he suffered through four folk singers, three of which came out of the closet that night and one of whom was still angry about something that never became clear.

The wife, to her credit, was aware that he was hungry and that he didn’t    dare express his true feelings towards the artistic works in progress. She also was aware that not only was he the only straight man in the room, she was probably the only straight woman in the room.

During her own readings she noted that the husband made a concentrated effort to laugh in all right places and even chuckled at an obscure reference to Henry Miller. As the evening waned, he became too delirious from hunger to realize that he ended up staying until the bitter end. His wife did sell two of her books, so she was quite happy and was prepared to spend the cash treating him to dinner. But even as he was released they discovered the bitter truth that a town that supports a coffee bar/lesbian performance art space is also a town with no restaurants  open after 10:00 PM. The disappointed and hungry couple had to drive back to the suburbs and make due eating the two remaining chicken pot pies in the freezer.

The next morning the  husband leapt out of bed and announced that today is the day he will purchase a chain saw. Her only possible response was to offer to drive him to Home Depot.

And that is how many average husbands acquire  power tools.

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  • Eris
    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    When I first read the line about Lesbian poetry reading, I was sure that what would come next would be the average husband bonding with the other attendees over their shared love of power tools. We Lesbians love our power tools. (The first Christmas present Leslie ever gave me was a Skilsaw!!!)

  • catharinebramkamp
    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Andrew would have killed for a power tool conversation that night – where were you?

  • Leslie McKelvey Wirtley
    Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    NICE! Your husband certainly earned his power tool!

  • catharinebramkamp
    Posted on October 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks, it’s an older story, but very funny,of course, he hasn’t really USED the damn chain saw. But I guess it’s the having – like an evening clutch bag.

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