Here's the Scoop: April 2, 2008

Did you ever feel like you’re the only person around who is not aware of a new trend or phenomenon? I recently had that experience when some people started chatting about “Ax Men.”
Apparently it didn’t take these “Ax Men” groupies to grasp the concept that somehow, someway, I had never seen this TV show. Not only had I never watched the show, I had no idea what the heck they were talking about.
“Ax Men” — isn’t one of those creepy movies where naïve twenty-somethings get chopped into tiny pieces by a deranged fellow who has communication issues.
No, “Ax Men” is a “reality” TV show depicting the lives of the folks who whack down trees — large trees — and many of them, for a living.
My description of this show doesn’t really do justice to the excitement of the show. Basically, it follows the ups and (mostly) downs, so to speak, of several crews of loggers engaged in this profession.
The show has all the ingredients of being a big hit: rugged guys, loud saws, huge oily machines, plenty of bleeped-out dialogue and danger. Lots of danger.

Special breed
It’s well-documented that logging is not a profession for the faint of heart. Despite great skills possessed by most in this line of work, huge trees do not always fall where they are aimed. Add to the mix the scary nature of large chain saws and the machines used to haul and process the logs and it’s obvious that there’s far more danger here than, say, getting claustrophobia from working in a cubicle.
In fact, “Ax Men” is not shy about pointing out the fact that injuries and death often go hand-in-hand with that line of work. One of the primary players in “Ax Men” lacks a hand, the result of an accident that “didn’t really cut off, but kind of pulled off” his hand. He tells this story like someone commenting about the weather. And he still continues the job that he loves.
Geez, and I always thought that working for a community newspaper was a perilous form of employment.
Seriously, I am not a candidate to get a job on “Ax Men” any time soon. Not only do I have a pretty decent fear of chain saws — inspired by a friend who took 200 stitches to his neck — but I am not fond of anything that makes a lot of noise — unless there are electric guitars and a light show involved.
My dislike for loud sounds, combined with my apprehension for all things sharp (except wit) put chain sawing pretty low on my list of “things to do.” Heck, I struggle with the choice between an electric razor (too noisy) and a regular razor (too sharp that close to my neck).
I hate to admit it, since it seems that everybody loves “Ax Men,” but I don’t really get what all the buzz is about.