EVERYBODY knows the best time to cut trees is 11 p.m.!

We had done the traditional Christian family Easter celebration – chocolate, baskets left by a rabbit, eating pork, hiding multicolored eggs. Oh, and a brief mention of eternal life and salvation thrown in there for good measure. It was bedtime for the Minions of Sauron, so I was rocking the Tiniest Minion in his room as he began winding down for night-night.

And I hear a Noise.

We live in a bedroom community of a suburb of a mid-major Southern city. We’re not inches away from our neighbors, but neither do we have to hike four hours to find a phone or a Mexican restaurant. So other than the occasional loud neighbor party or nuclear Armageddon, noises aren’t too common after 9 p.m.

It’s a strange Noise; it sounds a little bit like an angry wasp on steroids. It’s definitely outside the house, so that’s good; one never wants a hulked-out, pissed-off wasp flying around inside one’s house at bedtime. However, I can’t figure out what it is, so I dismiss it.

I put the Tiniest Minion to bed, and join my wife downstairs. As we settle into bed, she looks over at me.

“Did you hike to the Mexican restaurant at some point today?”

I am a bit befuddled, but honesty is always the best policy when one’s wife asks strange questions at random. “No.”

She ponders a moment in silence.

“Did you ask for a flight of propeller-driven planes to dive-bomb our house as an Easter surprise?”

I weigh my answer to this question a bit longer, because I’m beginning to think I’m in serious trouble for some reason. Finally, though, honesty wins out again: “No.”

“Then what in the world is that Noise?”

We listened a bit as the Noise waxed and waned, waxed and waned, and then waxed a whole hell of a lot. My wife is looking at me, obviously expecting me, as the male, to positively identify the Noise and then make it stop. I think about mentioning the Beefy Wasp Theory, and then discard the idea.

“Sounds like somebody working on a motorcycle engine,” I offer.

This is my wife’s cue to belittle … not only my interpretation of the Noise, but my deficient intelligence and lack of manhood.

“That’s not a motorcycle,” she announces. “That sounds like a chainsaw. I can’t believe you’d think that was a motorcycle. I can’t sleep with that Noise going on. It sounds like it’s right in our backyard. Aren’t you going to go check it out? What if there’s someone running a chainsaw in our backyard?”

I hadn’t considered the possibility of a chainsaw-weilding maniac in our yard, but now that my lovely wife has mentioned it, my mind is fixated on the image of Leatherface pruning the weeds. I don’t really want to go out there.

But a man’s gotta do, yadda yadda yadda. I open the back door, prepared to leap backwards and utter a gibbering scream of terror (in a manly manner, of course) if Leatherface lunges at me. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen. I realize the Noise is coming from the other side of the ridge behind our house, at least 300 or 400 yards away. I report this to my wife.

“So what are you going to do about it?” she asks me.

I envision a plan. I remember seeing a movie, many years ago, about these Shaolin monks who were so skilled at martial arts that they could fight off guys attacking them with swords by using only their bare hands. What they’d do, see, is they’d wait till the sword guy chopped at them with the sword, then they’d bring their palms together really fast and catch the sword between their hands in mid-chop. Then they’d snap their wrists to one side very quickly and break the sword, and they’d finish the fight by elbowing the now-diminished swordsman in the face. I can see myself carrying out this same type of manuever against the mystery chainsaw man. That’ll prove I’m manly!

So I tell my wife my plan. “I’ll hike across the ridge and get all Shaolin on his ass.”

She gazes at me pityingly. “Why don’t you just call the police and tell them we have a noise problem?”

I think about this. “Okay, but I bet they haven’t seen the Shaolin monk movie. They can’t even handle swordsmen, much less this chainsaw guy.”

So I use my manly pointer finger to dial the police. The dispatcher is less than helpful. “You’ve got a noise problem?”


“Did you or anyone in your family eat Mexican food today?”

“No. It’s coming from the ridge behind my house. We think it’s somebody running a chainsaw, but it could be a roid-raged wasp. Be sure you send somebody who’s seen the Shaolin monk movie about the swords, or at least somebody with some Raid.”

The dispatcher’s response is somewhat muffled, but I gather that she’s sending somebody to my house. It’s 10:30 now, and I don’t really want to have to wait up to let cops in. “No need to send someone here, my good woman … just tell the police to cruise the other side of the ridge behind my house. I’m sure you’ll find the culprit there.”

“Which ridge is that, sir?”

I turn and point. “That one there.” I even hold the phone receiver out as I point, so she’ll get a sense of the general direction. I can’t believe how stupid this woman is.

“The officers will be at your house in a few minutes, sir.”

Great. So my wife retreats to the bedroom, leaving me to wait up and deal with the cops when they arrive.

They show up in a commendably short period of time. The two officers appear to have recently exited puberty, but maybe they’re the only Shaolin-trained guys on the force. I explain about the Noise. Naturally, at this point, the only noise is coming from the bedroom, where my wife is sighing audibly in frustration and shame every seven seconds. I take the policemen into the back yard and point to the ridge, just like I did with the phone earlier.

And obviously, my pious observance of Easter has been well-received by God, because at that exact moment, the Noise starts again. The police listen a couple of minutes, and agree with my wife that it’s somebody running a chainsaw. “Probably from that construction site over on the highway back there,” one says. They agree to go cruise around the other side of the ridge (which is what I TOLD the dispatcher) and see if they can find the guy running a chainsaw at 11 p.m. and tell him to knock it off. I thank them, and they leave.

I go back in the bedroom and report the results to my wife. I have to speak loudly, because the Noise has intensified, as though mocking my attempts to make it stop. She’s glad the police are checking it out, but her manner clearly suggests that I am a weenie-poo in her eyes for not taking care of this myself.

So I announce I’m going to cruise around the highway back there myself, just to see if I can track the guy down. “What are you going to do if you find him?” my wife asks.

I strike the Shaolin pose I remember from the movie.

“I won’t wait up,” she responds.

So I cruise around for a while, but I don’t hear the Noise any more. The police probably got the guy to stop. I go back home, crawl into bed, and try to get to sleep while wrestling with the knowledge that my wife thinks two barely post-pubescent cops are more manly than I.

Some good came from the evening, though. I’m now working on a screenplay – “Shaolin Chainsaw Monks.” I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m envisioning a climactic scene in which the monks, rather than break the chainsaws with their hands, eat some Mexican food and then melt the chainsaws with the Blue Anus Flame.

I smell Oscar. Or Mexican food. I’m not sure which.

I don’t think that’s Mexican food you’re smelling there, bub.
[sub]Remnants of, maybe, but it’s different coming out than going in.[/sub]

I can never figure out why Dave Barry, I mean Sauron, saves his best stuff exclusively for us. But I am grateful!

You forgot the part where you told the kids they needed to pick between chocolate bunnies or enternal life because they couldn’t have it both ways. :wink:

That’s my favourite part of the whole Easter Weekend at the house in the mid-major Southern city. Plus the visual of Sauron in a Shaolin pose. That’s going to leave a mark.

Nor in the cab of a pickup truck at any time, eh?

It probably didn’t help that I was wearing only a red T-shirt that said “Expect the Best!” and a pair of tighty-whiteys at the time.

Homebrew: I shoulda figured out a way to work that in. I’m slipping.

Dung Beetle: Thank you! (There’s a phrase I never thought I’d type.)

scout1222: So what does your Mexican food smell like when it comes out?

Did you consider he might have been getting even with you for the noisy egg hunt you staged earlier when he was sleeping in?

Why, jasmine and rose petals, of course.

There’s always a line in a Sauron post that makes my cube mates wonder if I’m choking to death. (I should probably just go ahead and crack up out loud.) This was the line.

Are you saying 2 kids hunting eggs would be as loud as a chainsaw running for over an hour at 11PM at night?

We didn’t have any egg hunts at our house…we went to grandma’s…but if we had it would have been around 2PM in the afternoon.

Here I was all set to say, “Silly Sauron, sunshine has no smell.”

Well, these are the same two children who once argued about air, dear.

A line?! A line?!

scout1222: I suspected as much.

You mean to say they aren’t?

Recycling my favorite Easter story, just because I can and it vaguely fits:

A few years back or so, I attended Easter Mass with my husband and his family. It helps with the story if you know what the priest sounded like. Ever watch “Get Smart?” Think Maxwell Smart’s voice, then tighten up the nasalness and raise the tone just a bit. That was the priest. This is a big Catholic church, tons of little kids with their families, all dressed up in their Easter finery. We get through various hymns and stuff, and the priest begins to deliver the main sermon. His starting lines are: “Easter… is not about bunnies and eggs. It’s about life… and death.”

All was quiet - which is quite a trick in a place that size and with that sheer number of children in it. Then I hear a child begin to cry. And another, and another. And some whimpery voices asking their parents something, and the quiet swell of displeased-child-sounds grew while other comforting-parent-sounds tried to intervene. As my husband and I vainly tried to stifle our laughter while immaturely elbowing the other in the side over this, I imagined little children interpreting this as meaning they were getting no Easter candy this year - or worse, that the Easter bunny was dead! :eek: :smiley:

Sauron, I think this is the first rant of yours I’ve ever read. Very well done, sir.

Oh Duffer, you absolutly must read I stood next to the Emperor of the World at McDonald’s! .

Another great one. Thanks TDG, I’m off to scour some others. :smiley:

In the past, we’ve had neighbors who saved their lawn mowing and edging for after 9 p.m. They also waited until 1:00 a.m. to trundle their noisy, banging garbage cans out to the curb (right past our bedroom windows). Wouldn’t you think the light is better during daytime for doing these (possibly dangerous) outdoor tasks?

Hot coffee exiting via the sinuses hurts, g’dammit.

Lesson of the day: Put down all beverages and edibles and step away before reading **Sauron’s ** posts.

A couple of weeks ago someone was working on one of the townhouses in our complex. I didn’t mind power tools during the day but after midnight is a different matter. Actually I can sleep through just about anything but it was keeping my wife awake so I got dressed to pay our neighbor a visit.

“He’s probably on crystal meth,” she remarked.
“You sound like Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridegmont High. You think everyone is tweaking.” Well she is a chemical dependancy counsellor so that is probably true of most of the people she sees professionally. :rolleyes:

I walk across the driveway, the back door is open but no noise. I call out and eventually a guy comes out and says he’s sorry about the noise but he’s done for the evening. I said to please make sure of it. There was no point in chewing his ass out since he already stopped but I have admit it would have been more satisfying to do so.