Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Educational post: How you shouldn't use a machete

Ya'll have read some of the stories I post on here - crazy, unbelievable - all true.  Today, let me tell you about a couple of cases that have come into our office due to improper use of one, rather tricky, tool/weapon:

The machete:

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Ok.  It's slightly less dramatic when you see one like this:

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People use machetes around here mostly as tools, but...let me tell you about one situation I had to patch up where the question of its usage might have raised a few eyebrows.

Imagine, riding through the pasture adjacent to your dairy farm in an old white Jeep Cherokee.  You're checking on your cows and looking to see if cow #657 is still limping or if the vet did a good job when she trimmed her feet last week.  You think you've found the cow you were looking for and are following her slowly in the Jeep, encouraging her to walk, when all of a sudden, you feel the Jeep forcefully rolled forward a few inches.  You stop, look around; see in the rear-view a huge Holstein bull sniffing around your bumper.  You gun the engine a little bit, honk the horn and move along, thinking the bull was just curious...

...but then you notice the cows starting to edge away a little.  

You look out passenger's side window's and don't see anything, then look over on the driver's side and see him - 20 yards away, pawing the dirt, turning his head toward the ground, his eyes rolling around in his head...

You gun it.

But he comes after you.  

After several turns through the pasture, you get mad.  Like, fighting mad.  But how do you fight a 2200 lb bull?  You look for your rifle in the back seat, which (thankfully) appears to be missing...then you notice in the floorboard of the passenger's side - a machete.  

You don't think.  You just jump out of the truck, wielding your weapon, yelling at the top of your lungs, and you throw it, intending to hit him square between the eyes.

You miss.

It hits low on his right rear leg, just above the hoof...and it manages to slice through an artery.  So, you call the vet, tell her you have a bull that has a cut coming in and herd him into the trailer.

Incidentally, the bull is back in business.

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So.  Story number two.

This time of year, there are many migrant workers that flood our county, cutting pumpkins from their vines and starting to cut greenery for Christmas (I saw a load of pine boughs go down the mountain last week - what the heck!?!?  It's not even Halloween!).  What tool do people use to perform such tasks?   

Yep, you guessed it, a machete.

Another thing people do this time of year is let their dogs roam loose, free to run and play in this beautiful weather, free to eat whatever deer carcasses people leave after hunting, free to get underfoot and run between the trees while workers are trying to greenery.

Enter, energetic, 100 lb black lab that came in with a dishtowel precariously taped across the top of his head.

Remove dishtowel and see a 6" diagonal slice cut through the skin all the way across his head.

At least machetes make a clean cut.

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In closing, my PSA for this post is:  please be careful when using your machete.  You never know what kind of damage you might end up doing while working/in a mad rage.

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