Please Read This Manual Carefully

chainsawI recently bought a chainsaw.

Never having used one before, I thought it best to read the manual:

Congratulation on the purchase of your TXS 10 chainsaw from Massey-Cree Inc. This is the finest chainsaw you can afford. Read this manual carefully and review it repeatedly until you can understand and follow all safety rules, precautions and operating instructions before attempting to do something useful.


  • Do not operate your chainsaw while angry.
  • Do not operate your chainsaw when intoxicated (beyond what you can normally handle).
  • Do not operate your chainsaw under extreme fatigue unless you are earning double-time.


Trees are living things. They are probably a lot smarter than you and are devilishly clever at defending themselves. Here are a few of the ways they can mess with you:

Rotational Kickback occurs because some tree-loving hippie has driven a nine-inch nail into the Sequoia that you intend to poach. The nail will stop your chainsaw suddenly and all that energy has to go somewhere. The TXS 10 may lack the power to slice through a lilac bush but it can toss you into the next county.

Pinch Kickback happens when an angry tree clamps down on your blade and stops it cold. Think of it like Jujitsu – everything you were putting into that tree is now being put into you. [Men, it’s a great idea to wear athletic protection when operating a chainsaw]

Pull-in happens because you’re a cheap son-of-a-bitch who is using a TXS 10 where you should be using a TXS 100. All you have managed to do with your little TXS 10 is piss off a very large, very mean tree, so don’t be shocked when it pulls you real close – so you two can discuss. This process takes no more than a quarter of a second and is known in the industry as Tree Love.


The TXS 10 was designed and constructed in a region of China not known for trees. Hell, no one has seen a stick around these parts since the Ming Dynasty. Our engineers burn horse dung for fuel and use Yak bones to hold up their yurts, so don’t think you can do anything serious with the TXS 10, such as use it for protection in an inner-city laundromat after 10 p.m.. If you want to do more, don’t be a cheap son-of-a-bitch and pop for a TXS 100.

Author: Almost Iowa

22 thoughts on “Please Read This Manual Carefully”

  1. Usually, a comic bit, spoken or written, achieves its humor via crescendo–a build-up. When I got to your next-to-last paragraph, the climax of your piece, I felt the Pull-In–I was laughing so hard at “Tree Love”, I hurt. And then I laughed harder at the last paragraph. So I reread both of them, and they are just as funny standalone. No build-up needed.

    So good.

    1. Greg, Out brought me back here, so I read it again. That manual was probably written in China. Heck, they should have hired Helen C. She speaks wonderful English. Ummm, reminds me of the instructions for smoking electronic cigarettes. Great fun to read even though it wasn’t legible.

  2. I have chosen not to make chainsaws a part of my life. However, my neighbor found his chainsaw very useful when he had to widen the apron of ice to allow his car access to his driveway. I believe he followed all of your rules.

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