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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)

TITLE: Tied Up in the Wood Shop
By Sheldon Bass


"It could've happened to anyone." That's what I told myself. I had to believe this, or else I'd have been a complete idiot for using the table saw while clad in a suit and tie. It was only going to take forty-five seconds to make that final cut and the finishing pieces would've been ready for assembly. Then after giving my presentation at the office, I could have put the entire china cabinet together that afternoon, and had it stained and completed by the next day, in time for Darlene and my twentieth wedding anniversary.

"You might have to brush a little saw-dust off your shoes is all." That's what I'd told myself.

"Sweetheart, you're really gonna be surprised."

Now I was stuck. The fancy new silk tie she'd given me was wrapped around the saw-blade.

"The Lord must look out for dummies; another second and your face would have been hamburger."

All I did was bend down to check the angle of the cut, forgetting about that decorative cloth tied around my throat. The circular blade grabbed my tie and commenced coiling it around that confounding contraption while pulling my head into it.

"Too bad your brain is not as quick as your hands were flipping off that switch."

I had to get loose, but it was wrapped too tight, with my eyes bugging out of my head from that thing choking me.

"The one time you don't have your pocket-knife with you..."

Even if I did have it and cut the tie off: what explanation could be given to Darlene? I had my cell phone, but I couldn't bear the thought of calling for help. I had to get loose on my own or the whole surprise would be blown, and I'd never hear the end of this if anyone were to find out I'd done such a stupid thing.

"Oh Lord, please don't let Darlene's brother find out about this. He razzes me enough about my fishing tactics."

Three minutes seemed like an eternity with the table-saw incarcerating me by my tie.

Here came my friend and confidant Smokey, my loyal dog. I could trust him not to tell anyone he'd seen me in this predicament. But even he cocked his head, looking at me like I was a few marbles shy.

"Come here boy. Jump up here and chew through this tie."

It seemed Smokey wasn't in the mood to help me out of this mess. He did however; provide moral support with that big tail wagging away and a smile on his face. Dogs are great friends. He doesn't care how dumb his master can be at times. It's that unconditional love thing.

"Why are you ruminating on such things while you're in an importunate state of emergency?" I was chewing myself out, but getting no closer to an escape plan.

I couldn't reach any tools to use... Only one option remained.

"Dear Lord Jesus, please forgive me for being so thoughtless. And I know it's because of my pride that I don't call for help. Poltroon that I am; I'm just too embarrassed to be seen like this. Please Lord, show me what to do."

Grabbing hold of that inconveniencing piece of silk with both hands, I pulled hard, attempting to either tear it loose or get it to unwind. I managed to get one wrap undone; giving me another inch and a half of the tie to work with. It was just enough to pull it across the edge of the saw blade, and start working that torturous adornment back and forth a few centimeters up and down the edge of the blade. My face was so close to the action it was difficult to focus my vision on it. The tie finally capitulated its tensile strength and began to tear, causing my stress to abate just a smidgen.

"Freedom!" It tore in half, leaving me with a very short, ragged, expensive tie. Ripping the blasted thing from my neck; it felt good to have the blood circulating to my brain again. Lord knows, I need all the blood I can get up there; I can't afford the unnecessary loss of any critical cogitating cells.

In the middle of my presentation on "power-tool safety", I looked down to notice I'd forgotten to wipe the sawdust from my shoes. Yet; call it a miracle; I somehow retained my position as head of our Safety Committee. The moral: practice what you preach.

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This article has been read 825 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith03/07/13
Hilarious! Safety Committee head, eh? I can identify, having long full skirts and a power chair with masticating wheels . . .
Phee Paradise 03/11/13
Love it, but I was so worried he'd turn the saw back on.
Virgil Youngblood 03/12/13
There but for the grace of God ---. Those table saws sure don't show much respect for titles, do they? Great writing with a message to be heeded.
Cheryl Harrison03/12/13
Ha! Loved every word. Too funny! Keep writing.
lynn gipson 03/13/13
Oh, this is excellent, I felt myself right there with you pulling and sawing that tie. You told and wrote the story so very well. You had me smiling at the reaction of your clueless dog. BLess your heart.

Loved it

Alicia Renkema03/14/13
I felt for the MC here and have been in those kind of predicaments more than I'd care to admit. I found myself wishing you had shortened the process of your predicament some so that we could have shared in Darlene's surprise. OR how did that go? Maybe that will be for a later piece. I felt that (while funny) your MC was a little hard on himself which I can do at times yet God wants to give us grace. Blessings as you continue to write for Him.
lynn gipson 03/14/13
Congratulations Sheldon! On your very well deserved win. So happy for you and thanks for a most entertaining story. So glad your faith was with you when you met that buzz saw.

God Bless, Lynn
C D Swanson 03/14/13
Congrats! God Bless~
Vince Martella03/14/13
Well deserved, Sheldon. This was such an entertaining read. And you did it all with one main character - you! Congratulations, great story!
Cheryl Harrison03/14/13
I loved this one. I'm so glad you placed first. Great job! Congratulations.
Linda Berg 03/15/13
I enjoyed this story. I caught my attention and kept it all the way through.
Bea Edwards 03/16/13
hehehe i really enjoyed your self dialogue! Had me smiling all the way through.
Well done and congratulations on your 1st place level win.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/13
Congratulations on ranking 17th overall!