Me and My Machete

It’s bamboo season at the James household which means bamboo shoots will soon be sprouting up all over my yard and I need to cut them down as they appear to prevent them from becoming a sequel to “The Day of The Triffids. Another movie that comes to mind is “The Naked Jungle” but I’ll save the analogy for another post. I find the best tool for controlling the bamboo is my trusted machete. You have to cut them at the source before they engulf you and your yard.

My machete recalls another incident where it played a key role in getting my car back from a local car accessory store. I had left my car at the store to have roof rack fitted. It’s approximately half a mile from home as the crow flies. However I live at the end of a cul-de-sac, and walking the length of my street onto the adjoining highway would take three times as long to reach the store.

However there is a more direct way which would require cutting a path through brush and brambles to the rear of my property,  negotiating a steep bank which terminates into  a local church car park, and then onto the highway a couple of hundred yards from the store. Hence the need for the machete. It was a sunny spring day and I deemed the undergrowth not to be too intimidating.

Perhaps wearing a polo shirt and shorts was not the appropriate outfit to take on this challenge. Anyway I reached the base of the bank perspiring profusely with an accumulation of cuts and scratches on my arms, legs and neck. The steep bank presented more of an obstacle than I anticipated, but I eventually stumbled into the car park on my hands and knees. Luckily there was nobody around to witness my foolishness.

I recovered my composure to the best of my ability in the circumstances, and gingerly made my way along the road to the store which was now a mere 200 yards away. I was so relieved to make the store  that I forgot I was brandishing a machete, and seeping blood on various parts of my body. I opened the door to the reception to be confronted by the owner and another customer who immediately stopped their conversation and stared at me with terror etched across their faces.  My fellow customer finally cut (no, he didn’t have a weapon, not that I could see anyway) the ice and asked: “Tough neighborhood????” I just replied: “Oh no, I was just taking a short cut (there’s that word again.”) The owner stammered: ” Your c–c-c-c-car is r–r-r-ready Mr. James. I replied: “Let me catch my breath, and I’ll put my machete down and get my wallet out to pay you.” The owner said: “Take your time, Sir. I’m going to the restroom for a rub down with a damp edition of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.”

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