Knives and Fire

Remember my tale of three bamboo?  At the end I mentioned going to Andy and Bax to get a machete in case my bamboo REALLY got outta control.  As in, became sentient and started chasing me and my trusty pooch around the yard.

Well that got me thinkin, see.  About a couple things.

One, is I actually did go to Andy and Bax once and buy a machete.  No clue what happened to it.  I think maybe there were blackberries, and I’m not the kind of girl who can just break out the little pruning shears.  No, I have to go all big time and get a machete, and pretend I’m in the amazon.  I think there may have been some camping usage too.   And of course that one time when that burglar broke in…

Ok, I’m kidding about the camping.

No no, ok I was kidding about the burglar.  But if there had been a burglar, he or she would have been SORRY.  Or at least immensely entertained.

So yes, I have a thing for knives.  And fire.  I like having reasons to use them.  Purely lawful, sane reasons, of course!  Like whacking through underbrush.  Chopping and burning large pieces of wood into smaller ones for various warmth/building/artistic reasons.  (I actually got paid to do that last one once!  Oh, the awesome.  I love movie set work.)  Keeping warm.  Carving a wooden life size kodiak bear.

Ok ok, I was kidding about the bear.  I think.

Really, perhaps now you understand the sheer beauty that is my very own fire pit.  I get to chop up wood.  I get to burn it.  And no one gets hurt.  Mostly.

Which leads me to the story I’d like to regale you with today:

“Knife Safety Class with Morgan, Senior Girl Scout Camp Counselor, Camp Arrowhead, 199…(um)…1995.  Stevenson(ish), Washington.”

I taught a knife safety class to my unit one day, late in the afternoon, before it was time to march back to base camp for dinner.  My unit was camped further than nearly all the other units, since it was one of the oldest.  Our little camp was about a mile hike away from Home Base.  The class went as follows.

First, I demonstrated knife safety with a swiss army knife.  Always hand it to people handle first.  Always pay attention.  Face the blade away from you when collapsing it.  All good, everyone’s paying attention.  A little bit on sharpening blades.

Next, we take a look at the humble camping axe.  Good for chopping small branches and such for firewood.  Use both hands when possible.  Know where you’re aiming for, make sure your hands and feet are out of the way.  Not something the campers would be asked to do, except in emergencies.  Got it?  Good.  Moving on…

Now, being one of the older units, as well as one of the furthest out, we had a wood chopping axe.  Big, long handle, kinda old.  So me and my obsession with large knives is patently unable to resist.  Yes, I’m going to demonstrate to 11-13 year old girls the proper way to chop wood.  Because they need to know this.

I know, I think I mentioned a couple posts ago that I am occasionally a dumbass.  Save it.

So, place the wood on the chopping log.  Up, over the head goes the axe.  Down comes the axe…

On my foot.



OM-MF-G FUCKING OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am proud to say that I did not swear audibly in front of my young, impressionable charges.  The preceding statements were all inside my head.  What can I say, I handle crisis, and pain, pretty well.  But oh lord did that ever hurt.

It was at this point that I noticed my entire unit, as well as my junior counselor, staring at me with wide eyes, and a hush had fallen over the campsite.

So I extract myself from the fetal position I was working towards, and with a big smile say “It’s all good!  I’m ok.  Good boots, you know.”

Luckily, the boots did hold, and I sustained nothing more than a gruesome-looking bruise on the top of my foot.

The moral of this story?

Don’t be a dumbass.  And take your own damn advice.  Knives are DANGEROUS!

Although, I’m still thinking of going to get that machete.  Burglars, you know.