I’d been asking Dave for weeks and weeks to please chop down this Pandanus tree in our yard. Mould had made it rot, every ant in the Southern Hemisphere had moved in, and sadly it was a hazard and had to go.
Nothing happened nor looked like it was ever going to happen so I took matters into my own hands and made the call. I arranged for someone else to come and remove the tree. The person on the other end of the phone was only too pleased to help and was booked in for the next day. As I ended the call I thought, what a nice, helpful man.
I let Dave know, he’d be impressed. He wasn’t.
He said, ‘Babe, why would you even think of ringing someone else to do this job when I’ve already told you I was doing it and I’ve got everything ready to go to chop down that tree which umm.. I’d actually planned on doing today?’
He then disappeared and I heard him rattling around the garage frantically searching for everything he needed.
He then scrambled awkwardly up one tree to reach the other tree (he couldn’t find his ladder) plus he insisted he didn’t need any help. He had everything under control and began sawing away with his old rusty hand saw, rather maniacally I thought.
That’s when I realized asking another man to chop down another man’s tree encroached on these mysterious male territorial zones that for some reason make a rational man suddenly behave completely irrationally.
Like the time I asked Dave to ask another man for directions when we were completely lost. That never happened, as apparently he’d rather die before asking another man that question.
Back in our yard, I heard him head back in search of rope to pull the trunk down. There was no rope. He finally found a huge old heavy chain that must have once anchored the Titanic. I heard him dragging it across the driveway, up the path, out to the tree and, after watching him climb up the good tree once again without a ladder, I then stayed glued to the scene in front of me as he tried to fling the chain across to the other tree a few times to latch it on, but without success.
As I watched him he gave me the thumbs up and said, ‘See Babe, I told you I’ve got this.’
The next bit happened so quickly. The chain swung back, hit his foot, he grabbed his foot, yelled ‘F##K’, lost his balance and promptly fell out of the tree.