The Tool Fool’s Stool #3: We’re Not Afraid of Fire

Bacon, fire...Need we say more?

Thousands of years ago, a lightning bolt hit the predecessor of the modern pig. While the rest of the humans fled from the strange light, heat, and smells, one did not. One stepped forward and took a deep breath. He wasn’t sure what had happened, but he knew a good scent.

“Bacon. I shall call that bacon and I shall eat my fill.” (Translated from the original language.)

That early human (I think of him as Ed.) collected a burning stick and marveled. The others were afraid. They didn’t know what make of this new thing. Eventually the fire went out (probably stamped out by prehistoric lawyers afraid of prehistoric lawsuits), but Ed had been irreparably changed.

Fire. Bacon. It would all be his.

We’re not afraid of fire.

Eventually Ed learned to rub sticks together to make fire. (You can only tie so many pigs to stakes in a thunderstorm, and hope before you look for a better solution.) While the others huddled in the darkness, Ed held his torch high, bathing in the light and warmth.

Eventually, Ed burned down a forest. But you knew that was coming, didn’t you?

Whenever you see a power tool introduced in a movie, you are sure of one of two things: Either someone is going to “love it when a plan comes together” or someone is going to die a gruesome death. Likely the latter.

Power tools are the new fire. They are mysterious devices of creation and destruction. So when they show up in movies, they are either magic wands that fix everything or instruments of horrific carnage.

That makes you, the tradesman (and woman), the new mages. You are the Gandalf’s of our time, crafting magic from nothing but your hands and the strange implements of your profession. Give those same tools to the layperson, and they are all but useless. They hang pictures, they put together flat-pack furniture, but they will never create. They will never build. They will never reach their full potential.

Your garage is an alchemist’s laboratory. Lumber and metal go in but all manor of useful items emerge. Chairs, tables, shelves…the list is endless. What goes on behind that rolling door is a mystery. Secretly, your friends are in awe of you. Deep down, they are pretty sure if you had the time, you could build your own Taj Mahal. And that terrifies them.

So when you bring home your new compound miter saw, and show it to your family and friends, they invariably act as if it weren’t important. “Oh, another tool. Don’t you have enough already?” they say. But inside they can only think one thing:

“Never suffer a witch to live.”

Rejoice tradesmen (and women). You have a power at your fingertips that most of the rest of humanity barely understands and have little hope of controlling. They may be afraid of you, but they need you. So hold your impact drill aloft proudly shouting, “I am not afraid of fire!”

Then, go eat some bacon.

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