Saturday, May 24, 2014

What Do Lumberjacks Wear?

During the week between my son Tyler’s college graduation from the University of South Carolina and my step-brother’s wedding in St. Simon’s, Georgia, we had to move Kelsey home from college in Vermont and then my husband Jay had a birthday.  A lot of planning, airports, driving, carrying an endless supply of dorm necessities down three flights of stairs, waiting for a cat to give birth, visiting family, spending money, etc., all within one week bookended by two eventful weekends.  I normally plan birthday gifts in advance, but this time Jay was an after- thought.
When I finally thought to ask, Jay came up with his usual request.  “I really need a white dress shirt and a tie.” Again?  Well, this year that would be okay with me, given how stretched I was feeling.  I asked one more time after returning from Tyler’s graduation and before our trek to Vermont to move Kelsey.  “Well, maybe a new chain saw.”  Really?  Now you tell me? 
One of my husband’s favorite past times is playing lumberjack.  He loves to split and stack firewood, always preparing us for the long cold winter by stocking up for the wood stove which supplements our heat.  The last time he purchased a chain saw was in 1985, a Stihl which still worked.  He wanted another Stihl of course.  I said nothing to indicate that I was thinking anymore about his birthday, but called Jay’s friend Curt.  Curt is my gift advisor for Jay when it comes to fishing gear and power tools.  I know enough about the stuff to know I know nothing (can we hear it for using the same word three times in one sentence?)
Since Kelsey and her dorm contents had to be crammed into our van which drove a total of eight hours on Wednesday, I had only Thursday to pull this off.  Thursday was Jay’s birthday.  Curt and I drove out to the Stihl dealer to pick up the chain saw he’d selected as the best for Jay. 
As we returned, Curt asked me how I was going to give it him.  I mentioned the Lumberjack Song as performed on the Monty Python Show many years back.  Curt gave me a blank stare so I sang the one verse I remembered, the verse I sang to Jay when I felt like teasing him about his hobby:
                Oh, I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay

                I sleep all night and I work all day.

                I cut down trees
                I wear high heels
                Suspenders and a bra.
                I wish I were a girlie,
                Just like my dear papa.
Curt has a good sense of humor, but having never heard the song before, I got a look.  It was very similar to the response Kelsey gave me when I told how I was thinking of presenting the chain saw to Jay, although she added the teenage eye roll at the end.  I didn’t care what they thought, my idea cracked me up and in the end, that’s all that really matters when it comes to satisfying my warped mind.

That evening, we took Jay out to dinner then came home for Reeses ice cream cake, joined by Curt.  Kelsey gave Jay a T-shirt which read on the front, “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.”  I gave Jay a funny card with a piece of paper enclosed which had the following typed on it:
You asked for a shirt
And also a tie
That’s all you wanted
But we know you lie

To get your gift
You’ll have to work
High and low you’ll look
But please don’t twerk
You get three clues
About your present
If you guess right
You get to open it

Your first clue resides
In a special place
Under lock and key
Where you record the fish, rivers and lakes 

Now my doubters, Kelsey and Curt, perked up.  This was going to be fun after all. They didn't know the location in the clue, but Jay certainly did.   Jay went right to the armoire where he keeps his fishing flies, rods, and the fishing journals he’s maintained for decades.  There he found a wrapped present which revealed the new Vera Wang shoes I intended to wear to the wedding that weekend.  Confusion, but another clue lay with my pumps.
Oops! Not quite your size
But this is clue Number One
Number Two is where
Number two is done 
Easy clue.  In the bathroom Jay found a pair of rainbow suspenders wrapped in tissue paper (purchased from Goodwill that morning).  What? Curt started teasing Jay about what he needed to wear to the next fishing club event.  Next clue:
Clue Number three
The final one
Has keys a plenty
But none you turn 
Found in the piano bench (it wouldn’t fit with the piano keys), wrapped in tissue paper, was one of my bras and the last clue.
Your three clues…hmmm
Now use your head
If you’re right
It’s in the shed
Jay started to go outside to the shed.  I stopped him.  “Solve the riddle.  No present until you guess based upon your clues.”
“Hmm.  Shoes, suspenders and bra... Suspenders.  Bra.  Wait a minute! ”  Ding ding ding!  “The Lumberjack Song!  You got me a chainsaw?”

Watch the Lumberjack Song skit on You Tube

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