You never know what’s going to be useful.

The weeds were getting thick before I left and during the nearly a month I was gone they made a play at taking over. I’ve been hoeing and pulling off and on since I got back. And there’s this one bush right beside the driveway that gave me pause. It’s thick and seriously encroaching on the path but all the branches are too skinny for a chainsaw or even a recip saw with a brush blade. Finally decided what this called for was old-fashioned chopping…


…and so I took this thing off the wall. Which in turn got me to thinking about this thing, which I don’t very often. Mostly it just hangs on the wall.


When I first saw it it belonged to T. I never asked him about it, assuming he picked it up at some flea market. T loved him some flea markets, but honestly he wasn’t always the most discerning shopper. At a glance the blade looked like the sort of embarrassing impulse buy you’d thereafter stash on a bottom shelf out of the way and give no more thought.

And after T died, it nearly ended up in a landfill. Landlady didn’t want it. Ian didn’t want it. I was inclined to pass it by myself but then took a second look and became intrigued.

It appears to have been made from an industrial saw blade by someone who knew what he wanted and had the gear to get it, but who didn’t give a damn what the final product looked like. Parts of it are crude, hacked-out work but the blade was very straight, dangerously sharp under the corrosion, and seemed to my uneducated eye to have been machine hammered…


Having originally been a saw blade it has a delightful ring when you chop with it, and the edge is very tough. But except for the sophistication of the edge it looks like something a teenager might come up with in a weekend set loose among his father’s tools. Maybe it is, I really don’t know.

Anyway. I eventually decided ‘what’s a peasant’s shack without a Grosse Messer,’ right? And mostly it hangs right there on the wall’o’kitsch…


…but once in a blue moon it comes in handy.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to You never know what’s going to be useful.

  1. Kind of nitpicky, but what can yu tell me about the picture in the upper right corner of that last photo. The ‘freedom is beautiful’ one? Im intrigued but a quick Google search turns up nothing. Custom print?

  2. Ben says:

    Just a paranoid thought… That old kero lamp is beautiful and appropriate, but the fuel in not so much so. You have so many ways of lighting your Lair that I assume any flame lamp would be “Plan Z”. But if that glass lamp ever fell and shattered in the vicinity of your hot wood stove, it wouldn’t matter that the lamp hadn’t actually been lit in decades.

  3. Joel says:

    CZ, that’s Gadsden Girl by Claire Wolfe. About fifteen years old and I don’t know if it’s still in print anywhere. A quick search under that name only turned up a 13-year-old offer from an archived remnant of a dead website. You can find Claire’s current site on my blogroll but I don’t recall if she sells swag at present.

  4. Joel says:

    Ben, you’re probably right. It’s been up there since the beginning when it was useful, and I probably should go ahead and empty it.

    Needs cleaning, too, now that I’m looking at it…

  5. Mike says:

    Yes, one never knows when a machete is going to be useful… :^)

To the stake with the heretic!