My Life

An Open Letter to the Idiot with the Chainsaw

Dearest Neighbor,

How are you this fine morning? I trust that you realize it is morning. Quite early in the morning, as a matter of fact. Were you aware of this? Perhaps not. Maybe you’re one of those people who leap out of bed without any concept of time, and then race outside to pull the ripcord on gas-powered devices that don’t have any “inside voice” settings. As such, there are a few things which we need to discuss.

First, there are actually some people who don’t live quite the same lifestyle that you have chosen for yourself. These other people have rich and meaningful lives which they pursue with relish, lives that sometimes include activities which require them to stay up late on a Saturday night. When this late-night activity takes place, it is customary for these happy, satisfied people to not arise from their slumber at the butt crack of dawn. They instead prefer to sleep in a bit, and then have a nice brunch where mimosas are served and people have conversations in hushed, soothing tones.

I have thoughtfully laid out the details of this alternate manner of living as I am well aware that such a relaxed pursuit of life may not be familiar to you and the other people that grew up in whatever horrid little hell-spot from whence you came. Does this help you see how your tawdry obsession with the usage of fossil fuel-depleting implements, before the newspapers have even been delivered, might cause some consternation among folks who are still in their bed chambers when you attempt to jump-start the Apocalypse in your backyard?

Second, what do you possibly have in that backyard which requires such vicious mechanical savagery? I know you don’t have any trees back there, as you wiped all those out the very day you purchased that Antichrist of a chainsaw, trying to prove something that did not need proving. Were you perhaps attempting to remove part of your house that you didn’t find particularly pleasing? Were you trying to instill some terror-based life-lesson into your children who refused to stop smacking their gum? (Oh, wait. You don’t have any of those, either. I seem to recall your offspring being removed from your possession some years ago. Those little urchins of yours were weeping with joy as they clamored into the police van.)

And just to make sure you understand the impact of your recent actions, let me share with you exactly how it transpired that I became aware of your grievous hooliganism at such an early hour. I was in the midst of a very pleasing dream, wherein Ryan Reynolds had done something or other which required that he take a shower in my house. Being the gracious host that I am, I was standing nearby, wearing something revealing (translation: nothing), in case he should need assistance of any kind.

Things were going splendidly when, to my utter shock, Ryan apparently let loose with the most resounding instance of flatulence that mankind had known up to that point. My infatuation with Ryan dimmed briefly, then I decided that some things could be overlooked in the name of lust. Then it happened again, with the shower door nearly being blown off its hinges. This was becoming entirely too much.

Then my dream began to blur as bits of me became conscious, and I eventually surmised that the ass noises were apparently something else entirely. And the noises seemed to be coming from above my head. I slowly cracked open one sleep-encrusted eye, and the window above the bed came into view. By the dim light filtering in, I could tell that dawn had barely broken. Even the roosters were still hitting the snooze button.

And yet, some idiot was using a chainsaw next door.

I tried to ignore your heinous activity, flopping about in the bed and attempting to cover my head with various pillows and startled pets. But it was right at that moment that you, in your treacherous agenda, encountered an obstinate section of whatever it was that you were hacking to death. This inspired you to begin revving your wretched machine until a noise filled the air that could make grown men crumple into a fetal position. And you KEPT doing it.

  This reminded me of Thanksgiving days as a youngster, when our grandfather, bless him, didn’t really understand the anatomy of a turkey. Despite his ineptitude with avian biology, he was the head of the gathered household and therefore responsible for carving the turkey once Granny presented it to him at the dining table. Family tradition required that, despite being nearly faint with hunger, we must all wait for PeePaw to decimate the bird completely before anyone could take the smallest nibble of anything.

And it always played out that PeePaw, slashing around with the fancy electric carving knife that some fool had purchased for him, would encounter the skeleton of this year’s creature, and he would once again fail to understand that he should NOT cut through it. When he ran up against something solid, he would simply increase the speed of the knife until Tom Turkey would start to disintegrate and fly about, creating a mushroom cloud of death and poultry, with little bits of bone and stuffing raining down on the upturned faces of the assembled and terrified grandchildren. To this day, the mere sight of an electric carving knife makes me wet myself.

So, neighbor of mine that I really can’t stand, do you see how your crimes of the early morning might have set me off a bit? Not only were you stupidly sawing at something that obviously didn’t need your intervention, but you kept revving. It was the revving that forced me to take pen and paper in hand and jot off this missive of passionate dissatisfaction with your very existence.

In summary, should you ever again take it upon yourself to do anything with a gas-powered yard tool at 7am on a Sunday morning, I will not hesitate to immediately march to your house, even if I’m currently nude because that’s how I roll when I sleep, and beat the hell out of you with that freakin’ chainsaw. Because nothing comes between me and Ryan Reynolds.

Thank you for your time,



Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 01/23/11. Revised and updated with extra flair for this post.

Story behind the photo: Just a random shot of a toy cow that I own. We don’t really need to go into the details of why I have it or why I feel compelled to take pictures of such.


38 replies »

  1. O I feel your pain! When we lived in the Middle of the Middle of Illinois, our next door neighbor Claude preferred to do not only his pre-dawn lawn mowing—which, despite the fact one good spit could water the postage-sized bit of lawn his wife had somehow neglected to fill with colored gravel—but also any and all available leaf and/or snow blowing. We never actually complained for two reasons. First, because Claude (who was, by my best calculations, 186 years old at least) was quite forgetful, he would wander down the street mowing/blowing everything he encountered including our sidewalks/grass/paths until his weapon of choice ran out of fossil fuel. His wife, Inez, would eventually appear in her bathrobe and rubber boots, following the trail of swept sidewalks until she found him and brought him home. The second reason was that Inez was about 80lbs of pure mean, and she was armed. She never slept, but spent the 23 hours/day (not devoted to retrieving Claude and his instruments of predawn torture) sitting behind a twitching front room curtain. Rumor had it she sat with a gun in one hand, the other hand on the 911 speed dial so police could be summoned if anything threatening occurred such as the exact same teenagers who walked to school the exact same way every day passed her front window, or if her neighbors’ (us) cat ventured onto her gravel, or if a Dangerous Stranger (i.e. anyone who wasn’t white) rang any doorbell in the neighborhood. None of us ever bothered with security systems or burglar alarms—we had Inez. My daughter made a sign for one of our windows “This House Protected By An Attack Crone” because, she explained, when it came to Inez, even burglars deserved a fighting chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So….if we suddenly see no more posts from you, can we safely deduce one of two things? Either you have been sliced up by said chainsaw and put through a wood chipper, or you are wearing your nice little orange jumpsuit after your failed plea of temporary insanity?
    If it’s the latter, I’ll try to get in touch with Ryan Reynolds and set up a visitation. LOLOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BWAHAHHAAHHA!! Oh my gawd. I think I broke something. Does this horrid person have relatives in Utah who drive those %$@#! big rigs? I don’t hate truck drivers, but as I’ve bitched about before, I’m unfortunate in living right next door to the King of the Asshats who insists his drivers are free to come and go at all hours. Regardless of interruption of salacious dreams by persons sleeping. 3 a.m. seems to be their favored time to do whatever it is that causes a lot of loud banging and metal screeching and air horns and revving of truck engines. My sympathies to YOU! Say! Did you go later (after putting on a bathrobe..those lawsuits against those of us who are fans of the au natural school of good sleep are annoying, aren’t they??) and peek through the gaps in the fence and see if there were bits of BONE or blood spatter upon the less than pristine grass over there? Because your neighbor just might be a fan of “Fargo” or one of THOSE types of films…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would imagine this man has no relatives who claim him, as there are never any other cars that stop at his house unless it’s city code compliance folks, freshly arrived to cite him for yet another bit of his ass-hattery. (I won’t go into how many times I’ve been cited for violating code compliance due to my al fresco couture; perhaps we’ll visit that in another blog post.) And I’m glad that you brought up the “Fargo” angle. (LOVE the movie, haven’t seen the series although we have the first few seasons on DVD.) I assure you that if I ever hear a North Dakotan accent coming from his backyard, I will run like hell. And then blog about if from done the street… 😉


  4. That would appear to be a very nicely carved wooden cow. At first I thought it might be one of the old metal ones. I had one of those. And a ceramic cow that died a horrible death when, according to my younger brother, it leaped from a shadow box in my mother’s kitchen. but yours appears to have pretty short legs. For a cow, I mean. you do realize that’s where they get dragon’s milk, right? From short legged cows?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll have you know that I hand-carved that damn cow myself. (Lie.) And the legs are short to represent an unfortunate threshing incident that occurred on my Granny’s farm in Collinsville, OK. (Another lie.) But I do have to give you a thumbs up on the wittiness of the dragon’s milk reference. (Possible truth.)


  5. I prefer Dwayne Johnson over Ryan Reynolds but lets not worry about that. Do you watch Shameless? All I can imagine is the neighbor revving his motorcycle engine and Kevin running over there to cut the gas line but instead cuts the break line! When the neighbor goes to drive it, he gets into an accident and becomes wheelchair bound. Then, he assumed another neighbor did this to him and goes to throw molotov cocktails at the house but they fall in his lap and he burns to death rolling in circles in his electric wheelchair. If your neighbor “accidentally” burns to death from a lap full of molotov cocktails…you won’t need to bury the body under your house. Just sayin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot begin to tell you how much your fertile imagination has opened my eyes to the various and sundry alternatives to hiding bodies under my house. I don’t watch “Shameless”, but I do watch Dwayne, mmm hmm, and he can certainly take a shower at my house anytime. And… now I don’t remember where I was going with this since provocative showers have been mentioned. Did somebody mention a wheelchair? Oh, screw it, I better go make sure we have enough clean towels… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Landscapers and mowing services start their day before 8 am seven days a week in our area to provide cover for those who don’t hire those folks but like to get an early start as well. That being said we also have some “night mowers” around here who sometimes have to turn on their outdoor lights to finish up. I’m fully expecting some to take to mining hats this season. We must have some civilization left in us because the earliest I’ve heard a chainsaw has been 9 am. I have to laugh at the fact when my wife and I moved to our current location several years ago she cautioned me about making a lot of noise until “a decent hour.” We admittedly don’t know what a decent hour is anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if the mowing services around here have some type of secret pact or what, but they generally all manage to show up on the same day. Naturally, that one day is wretchedly loud, but then it’s relatively peaceful for the next six days. Except for the twit with the chainsaw, who clearly does not belong to the same union and marches to his own annoying drum… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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