Gut Rumbles

August 03, 2005

dangerous toys

I allowed my son to operate a chainsaw when he was nine years old. I had cut down a tree and was sawing it up into pieces when he asked, "Daddy, can I try that?"

I thought for a minute. Then, I said, "Okay, you can probably do this. But you have to be really careful. See how that saw cuts through a tree? It'll cut through YOU the same way."

I gave him some pointers about how to handle the saw, to keep his legs out of the way and to stand slightly aside to watch for a kickback. I handed him a pair of safety glasses, cranked the saw, and told him to go forth and cut.

He did.

I thought I taught him a valuable lesson that day. I watched him carefully, but he takes to teaching quickly, and he did a good job. Quinton had a BLAST doing it, too. He LIKED doing what he saw Daddy do, and he was proud of himself for helping. He became my assistant lumberjack after that experience.

His mama probably would have shit her panties if she witnessed that episode, but it made ME proud. My boy was just like me.

He wanted to cut my grass on the riding lawn mower, too, but he didn't have enough ass to satisfy the safety-switch on the seat. He told me recently that he's gained enough weight to cut his mama's grass now, and he does it all by himself. Good for him. He's not afraid of dangerous toys and he knows how to handle them correctly, because he was TAUGHT to do so.

I wish I could do the same thing now with guns.


Ok, that gave me the semi vapors! LOL!
As a mom, I think we are a just a wee bit more careful. But that is what Daddy's are for, to teach our kids what mommies get the vapors over.
I'm so happy that Quinton is calling you on a regular basis now.

Posted by: Maeve on August 3, 2005 02:04 PM

Rob, despite the fact that your ability to select women is at question, you're a good pa.

If Quinton ever asks advice about getting married? Maybe you'd better get someone else to help him. On the other hand, you know what NOT to do.

Posted by: og on August 3, 2005 02:13 PM

Not related to this post specifically, but this seems rather appropriate to some of your blog in general-- regardless I thought you might find this quote amusing:

"Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet."
Robin Williams.

Posted by: Kit on August 3, 2005 02:13 PM

That is what each of my boys has LIVED for...finally being considered responsible enough to use Dad's power tools. It's like a rite of passage. Why shouldn't a boy be taught to use tools like that?

Of course, my boys know how to cook and do other stuff for themselves too...

Posted by: Kelly on August 3, 2005 02:55 PM

This reminded me of a one-liner from the late Brother Dave Gardner.

WOMAN'S VOICE: "Stay away from that wheelbarrow, child. You don't know nothin' about machinery."

Posted by: Ernie G on August 3, 2005 03:22 PM

Hopefully the time will come when you can teach him about guns too. Give it time. I know when we were kids, we were taught to respect guns. We were also taught how to use them properly. I had my own shotgun when I was 8 years old and damn well knew how to use it and how not to use it. My dad and papaw taught me. We'd go fishing and they would bring the guns along and leave the women at home so they couldn't get the vapors. By the time my mom knew I had shot a gun, I was good at it and she didn't worry once she saw that. I just takes the proper teacher and the proper respect.

Posted by: assrot on August 3, 2005 03:40 PM

hang in there, you will get the chance with the guns.
I can't count how many times I was counseled
"It would be wise not to tell your mom about this'
from both my Grandpa and Dad. It started with slingshots and a magnifying glass and did not end until my mom passed on when I was in my 30's.

Posted by: GrampaPinhead on August 3, 2005 04:25 PM

I have been long debating the appropriate age to teach my children about handguns. I told myself "13" once upon a time. My oldest son will turn 13 in a few weeks. A voice in the back of my head is now saying "16".

Posted by: oregano on August 3, 2005 05:10 PM

you sure are teaching him well Mr Smith,when the time is right youll teach him about firarms as well,keep up the good work j

Posted by: j on August 3, 2005 07:30 PM

You're the coolest Dad ever.

Posted by: blondage on August 3, 2005 08:28 PM

Oregano, do it now. Besides teaching a new skill, you take the mystery out of guns and make them a tool. That can have many benefits in time to come.

I started teaching my kids about them about age 7, with a .22 rifle. They moved on from there as the time came. I've never had reason to regret it.

Posted by: Mark on August 4, 2005 12:20 AM

Allowing your son to use a chain saw at nine years old is beyond stupid.

Maybe you can teach him to light fireworks on the fourth of july????

How about teaching him about nature? Let him poke a rattlesnake so he learns not to mess with it.

Teach him about bees. Have him stick his hand in a hive.

Alcohol? Teach him what it's like to get drunk and throw up when he's 10 years old....That way he'll be able to handle his liquor.....

You have so many life lessons left to teach your young son...

Posted by: dorothy on August 4, 2005 01:58 AM

Nice story... but the real question is... can he handle *this* :)

(Hoping you have your PC issues fixed or have wised up and abandoned "trustworthy computing" for something better)

Posted by: Opinionated Vogon on August 4, 2005 09:13 AM

Dorothy, you need to get laid.

Posted by: Acidman on August 4, 2005 11:08 AM

You have taught the boy to wear old spice, to shoot guns and hunt down people to kill like Grandpa, to chainsaw trees without a true knowledge of the dangers of kickback, to disrespect women like his daddy, and maybe next you can show him how to avoid a draft like daddy when they institute the next one to clean up this mess that your Pres. Dumbass created.


Posted by: PJ on August 5, 2005 03:59 AM
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