My Favorite Tool

Sure, there have been a lot of contenders over the years: words, books, swizzle sticks, a solid foundation garment. Each of these has served as a tool in its own right, opening doors for me and then, three hours later, getting me tossed right back out. But they’ve done the job.

Occasionally, as well, I’ve overcome my esoteric tendencies and turned my bleary eyes towards implements that can be wielded for practical purposes:

From liquefy to pummel heartily, each button pushes one of mine.

Good for forty whacks. You know who I’m talkin’ to, Salvador.

The “tool,” Ground Zero; the template for all other tools

Tool, Version 2.1

Indeed, I’ve always had my arsenal of little helpers (shout out to Vicodan!), those things that I grab when I need help getting through the unforgiving hour, when I’ve used my one phone call and I’m still stuck for bail.

In the last months, though, I’ve had to expand my repertoire of what I’ll latch onto in a moment of need as our household, specifically our backyard, has descended into a state of low rentitude that makes even Brett Butler recoil in horror:

First, there was the red compost bin that occupies more square footage than our bathroom. Then we added in the tetherball pole for good measure (works great as a stake upon which to dry my jerky after a good bear kill). Not yet satisfied, we broke up an uneven backyard pathway with a sledgehammer, thus birthing our third child, little Gravel Heap, before I started to add in the stacks of railroad ties that had formerly lined our enormous vegetable garden.

Because Groom had hernia surgery 6 weeks ago, he has been unable to help with any of the manual labor around the yard this summer, which is par for the course because he’s an enormous lady’s blouse even when he’s fit. His “unusual weakness” and “need to recover” relegated me to the role of Participant in the Scottish Highlands’ Strongman Competition, wherein I would heft up a railroad tie on end and then, plugging my body underneath it, heave the thing end-over-end whilst grunting to all onlookers, “Away an bile yer heid, ye baw bags! I mae be an Auldjin, and am’fair peched, but I’m crakin’ here!” Somewheres around when I was threatening the gathered gawkers with a fierce “cuddy lug,” we also added in the two black plastic compost bins, which were meant to replace the original red eyesore…but when the two bins didn’t handle half of Red’s innards, we ended up keeping all three, which has me extremely dischuffed.

Once all of the ties had added to the fray of ghetto garbage piles, I was ready to up my game and start digging kabluminous holes across the yard, uniformly seven inches deep (don’t ask me to name the tool I’m using for that measurement; I’m a demure lass)…

into which we shall eventually place new paving stones, thus creating a fine new walkway…

…that I will eventually crawl across exhaustedly, using only my gnarled remaining limbs and, perhaps, My Favorite New Tool.

This tool. My Favorite Tool. The Mattock.

Oh, yes, it will help me crawl up the walk when I am whupped. For that, I love it.

Even better, Wikipedia reports of The Mattock: “The shaft is often heavier than the head, sometimes possessing twice the mass and density of a baseball bat.”


At night, I dream of The Mattock. It cuts; it slices; it dices; it eases my lot. For The Mattock, I would sacrifice from my Tool Holster the swizzle stick–a puny, flaccid lad, in comparison.

I mean, really. Look at that thing. It rather makes you fan your hands about your face, dunnit it?

And, yes, that’s my big man leg in that photo. Get snotty about it, and I’ll clench your wee walnut head bewteen my calves and make pesto out of your brain. That cracking sound you hear just before blacking out? That’s the sound of the Jocelyn working on the chain gang.

Hoo. Hah.





27 responses to “My Favorite Tool”

  1. jess Avatar

    Nice calves!


    Please don’t turn my brains into pesto.

  2. flutter Avatar

    rrroooowwwrrrrr check out that man calf! Makes me want veal for some odd reason…

  3. Her Grace Avatar
    Her Grace

    Rrrrroooowwwwrr is right. Who knew a post about tools could take such a turn?

    Whenever I see a new post up at O Mighty Crisis, I make sure I have plenty of time on my hands to handle what you’re about to throw at me. I’m never sure what it’s going to be, but I know it’s going to be delightful.

  4. Maddy Avatar

    I didn’t know you spoke Scottish so well, I am sublimely impressed.

    I didn’t know that thing was called a Mattock either. I have a slightly smaller one. I call it a sledgehammer and use it for planting [clay soil]

    Now if you combine your brawn with the blender you could whip up a whole new kind of protein smoothy.

  5. SQT Avatar

    Sweetie, you have sublime calves.

    I like the blender myself. I’m all about margaritas.

  6. Star Avatar

    This is why i don’t garden. That and my black thumb.

  7. Jazz Avatar

    You know luv, once in a while you’re supposed to empty the ready compost out of the bin, though where you’d put it is beyond me.

    There’s something to be said for living on a third floor…

    Today’s word verrification: gaychan

    I’m sure that means something somewhere.

  8. Chantal Avatar

    LOL, thanks!

  9. furiousBall Avatar

    that’s a calph with a ph

  10. Mother Theresa Avatar
    Mother Theresa

    Finally found a bit of time to visit, and I’m not disappointed. Never am, you always make me laugh. You must have killer arms after all that. Maybe you should have gotten Diesel to send over some of his trench diggers to help. That way you could sit with a nice cold lemonade and check out their nice young man calves (among other things). 😉

  11. Logophile Avatar

    You made me giggle, I love it.
    For about 2 weeks I had a washer and dryer on my back porch, the white trashiness was getting to me a bit.

    I love your new tool and your calf is lovely, as is your Scottish accent

  12. lime Avatar

    honey i can only wish my leg looked so toned. but i doubt i am willing to huff a mattock about to get quite so toned. pass me a ding dong now would you? and while you’re at it could you swing that tool in the direction of pauly shore and andrew dice clay?

  13. Lone Grey Squirrel Avatar
    Lone Grey Squirrel

    I have got to lie down. I am exhausted from reading how hard you are working. Squirrel brains, by the way, make poor quality pesto… know, not worth the effort.

  14. Diesel Avatar

    I need to take a pic of our neighbor’s backyard to make you feel better. Thankfully it backs up against our orchard.

  15. susan Avatar

    Hubba hubba…look at those legs!

    Now, I’m going to go lay down with the squirrel

  16. stepping over the junk Avatar
    stepping over the junk

    You’ve got some legs!!!

  17. Pendullum Avatar

    YOu are WOMAN!
    And I can hear you roar!!!!!
    Just bring it on….
    You can take on ANYTHING!!!!

  18. choochoo Avatar

    I used to have a compost bin back in Little Hellhole. There were mice living in it every winter. One spring, one of them jumped up my miniskirt… I don’t wanna talk about it.

  19. rak Avatar

    Leave it up to you to realize the “possibilities” of such an instrument.

  20. Claudia Avatar

    WHAT….there is no vibrator or dildo on this list of your tools! WHY woman…why….*weeps*

  21. citizen of the world Avatar
    citizen of the world

    Wow, you have impressively muscular legs! I’m so jealous.

    No computer on the list, blogging one?

  22. Wayfarer Scientista Avatar
    Wayfarer Scientista

    power tools! waving to say hi before I go catch up on my reading!

  23. Pam Avatar

    Is there no stopping the woman???There’s a gal with a mission!Your calves are great, but I need your ear to whisper something… . Ready?*You really don’t want to get too good at this*

  24. Claire Avatar

    Classic, Hi-larious Jocelyn post!
    ‘dischuffed’ and ‘kabluminous’ : I’m going to have to figure out how to work these into a conversation soon. My new favorite words, LOL!
    Can I tell you about my worm farm sometime??

  25. Diana Avatar

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh. Maaaaaaaaaattock.
    (Done in your best Homer Simpson.)

    Our lives just run a bit too parallel. My new favorite tool is the (now formerly) shiny-new edger for our freshly laid weed-block, fiberglass edging (guaranteed to last longer than metal or plastic)and rock bit around the odd cement slab in the backyard.

    I covet your red monster compost bins. I’ve just the black one, which sits in the midst of the vegetable garden because it’s just easier to deal with there. The tomatoes hide it from early July until the frost and then the snow hides it until April or so.

    And my calves could be your calves’ sisters. If your thighs match, we are certain to share several ancesters in the female line.

  26. Glamourpuss Avatar

    That tool looks like it could do serious damage to a manicure.

    And who’s the idiot in the leather jacket with the fag hanging out of his mouth?


  27. pistols at dawn Avatar
    pistols at dawn

    Note to self: fake hernia surgery so you don’t have to do anything around the house.

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