Monday, August 29, 2011

In The News

We've had a couple of strange news stories these last couple of weeks.  One was strange/silly and the other was strange/horrifying.

The first story was from a week or so back.  One afternoon, our lights 'blinked.'  The power wasn't off long enough to affect anything other than the clock on our ancient microwave, but it blinked nonetheless.  Within five minutes, the lights blinked again.  This really had K and me puzzled.  At first, we thought it was only our house--I do worry about our wiring, as it needs a total overhaul--but nothing more happened, so I forgot about the incident.  Until the next day.

The headline on the front page of our paper read:  "Errant Squirrel Blamed for Power Outage."  Yes, a squirrel got into a substation and caused several thousand people to be without power for upwards of an hour.  (We were lucky, but we are in an area that rarely loses power for some reason.  I guess it's the way the grid is laid out.)  The article didn't go into detail as to exactly WHAT the squirrel did to cause the power outage, but it did mention that the little rodent died.  I guess justice was served.

A couple of days ago, the front page had this headline:  "Man Dies in Chainsaw Accident."  The article went on to say that it is assumed he slipped and fell and the chainsaw killed him by cutting his throat and chest.  It also said he was wearing protective headgear and a face shield and that the chainsaw somehow slid under the shield and cut his throat.  Police don't suspect foul play.

Now I am not saying that the police are wrong in this case, but how many cop-dramas would let THIS go by the wayside as 'no foul play suspected?'  'Law & Order' would not only make this a major case, but it probably would use at least TWO episodes to solve it.  Strange, strange.  I have never heard of anyone getting killed by a chainsaw--accidentally or otherwise--here before, so this is very unusual.

You have to understand just how prevalent chainsaw usage is here.  At one time, we owned TWO of the things--one gas powered and one electric.  Early on, we used to heat our house--well, as a supplement to the furnace--with a wood-fired stove.  Many people still do.  In an area of the country where firewood is very easy to get, it is a viable alternative to heating with any kind of fuel oil/gas/propane.  During the summer, we would get a load of LOGS dumped into our yard and then K--along with anyone who wanted to help--would cut the logs, split the pieces, and pile the wood in preparation for the winter.  And during all this time of cutting, splitting, and piling, K only hurt himself once.  While he was cutting a log, the chainsaw 'bounced' on him and nicked his cheek.  It wasn't a terrible injury, but it could have been much worse.  However, he wasn't even close to death with this accident.  AND he wasn't wearing any safety gear of any kind, so it must have been a very freaky accident that killed this man.  Horrifying, indeed.


ordinaryjanet said...

I guess you could call that a freak accident. It sounds like something that would happen to me-I could be wearing full protective Kevlar gear and somehow manage to injure myself horribly.

I wonder if squirrels have a death wish, since they scamper along power lines and the like-sometimes I wonder if they (and sometimes birds) play games of "top this!" when they dart or fly in front of moving cars. Or maybe they're just plain stupid.

cmk said...

Very, very much a freak accident!

I don't know if you can call squirrels stupid--at least not the ones around MY house. They figure out things far too easily--like going somewhere I want them to stay away from, for example. ;) Maybe they are trying their best to play at being Evel Knievel--and they have bets going as to who gets away with doing the scariest stuff. :D

meleah rebeccah said...

A squirrel? A squirrel knocked out the power? WTH!

And I don't believe in "accidental" chainsaw deaths. L&O needs to step up here.

glad NOTHING bad happened to K when he had his run-in with the chainsaw.

cmk said...

Yeah, a squirrel did it--and this wasn't the first time. They definitely can do a lot of damage.

The more times the story is written in the paper, the more it seems strange that it is 'accidental.' I think 'Lenny' should come back and investigate.

I'm so happy that I wasn't home when K got hit with the saw--it was several days later that I first saw the injury. And it had already started to heal. I would have FREAKED--even more than I did!

Mrs. S. said...

I hate squirrels.. You may remember my previous troubles with the furry little devils. Then there was the one who tried to run from J, only to get himself fried on the power line.. Ha ha. Hate them.

Poor chainsaw guy.. That is a horrible accident, but it would probably end up on "Psych," and Shawn would turn Lassiter into an idiot as always.. Then I'd comment about how much I love that show when it was all over.. :P

cmk said...

People think I'm crazy when I say this, but I have no problems with grey squirrels. I think it's because the ones around here have tails that are bigger than their bodies--nice and floofy. ;) And they DO go find the stuff that they bury and eat it--NOT like chipmunks that bury and forget.

I really, really do feel terrible about the chainsaw death, but there is something about this whole thing that is curious/unbelievable/slightly amusing (in a black humor sort of way) and I can't stop thinking about it. And you're right, this is the kind of crime that WOULD find its way onto 'Psych.'