Stickman Readers' Submissions December 8th, 2007

Morning Wood

How many of you, when in Bangkok, wake up in the morning and all you can think about is your wood? Hard, stiff, and ready for your loving attention and if you close your eyes you can visualize your wood doing anything you want. You can make it go straight up in the air, stick it out horizontal, or even give it a slight curve so it’s somewhere in between. I love my wood, often in it’s creation I’ll wrap it in leather, rub oil into it, and some times I’ll add plastic or steel for more support. Wood comes in different colors, different hardnesses, and certainly different sizes / lengths! What’s your favorite kind of wood?

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Every type of wood has its purpose. Take soft wood for instance. I know what you’re thinking, soft wood isn’t much fun and not that nice to look at, and put under pressure it can fold right in half like nothing is really there. But do consider, wood is soft most of the time and is used for most of the mundane things in life for utility purposes, sometimes decoration, and some women even put it on top of their mantel in its various forms because it makes them feel good.

Then you have your hard woods. These are the most desired and prized for their beauty, their hardness and resistance to folding under pressure. You use hard woods for the really important things in life. The more difficult the job, the more hard the wood will need to be. This is ok, because real men enjoy a challenge and the more of a challenge your object of desire is, the more hard your wood will appear almost as if by magic. Be careful though, at least once in every mans life when they find themselves really needing a hard wood, they find all they have on hand is soft wood and I can tell you from experience this can be very embarrassing, especially when your customer is expecting the hard wood you’ve promised to deliver. This was a highly desirable customer who I’d been courting for some time and she was really ready to take delivery of her hard wood, but when all I could show her was soft wood she made some disparaging remarks and left in a huff and me standing there with my hands full of soft wood.. Humiliating!

With this in mind we’d better talk about taking care of your wood. Wood likes to be kept dry, at least until you’re ready to use it. If wood gets too much moisture, it’ll develop a fungus and become more mushy on the surface with a lot of red bumps. Ever seem burl wood? You’d think that pattern was pretty until you realize it was formed through disease and rot. Proper airflow is critical, so make sure air is constantly circulating around your wood. When not working with your wood lay it out straight and make sure it’s well supported. Don’t set heavy objects on your wood, and for sure no really hot objects like hot cups of coffee or your wife’s curling iron. Not only would a hot cup of coffee hurt your wood, but it would also leave a ring impression on it that can be very difficult to remove no matter how much oil you rub on it. The most important thing to remember when caring for your wood is to never ever, never ever ever, share your wood with another man. Men know what to do with wood better than anyone else and you might find your wood being used for something that would shock you. It’s ok for women to share your wood, they tend to listen well and only do with your wood that which you desire thereby helping keep your wood in prime condition. If you get really lucky you’ll find a woman who can do things with your wood that you could never imagine, she’ll show you things not covered in the books and help keep your wood nice and hard.

Have you ever found yourself in public with your hard wood and couldn’t wait to get it home? Meanwhile it feels like everyone is staring at your hard wood wondering what you’re going to do with it? There I was standing at the Asoke BTS station watching all the pretty girls in their white blouses and short skirts when all of a sudden I realized I had some hard wood in my hands. People were staring and some were even pointing at me, but a few of the pretty ones had taken out their mobile phones with built in cameras to get a picture of the farang with hard wood. I tried to hide my hard wood but it was impossible, so I flagged own a taxi to take me home but the hard wood wouldn’t fit through the door! I finally tied a red flag around the end of it and sat backwards in a sawng-thaew with the wood hanging out the back, which got me home, but the young school girls riding up in the seats were giggling and pointing.

Working with soft wood is easy, no one really seems to notice and you can go about your daily business in relative peace. Hard wood is different, once I was home alone and watching something on the television that got me in the mood for a little bit of wood working, so there I was with my hard wood making it straight and rubbing oil into it, when my wife comes home with two of her friends and walked in just as I was getting sawdust on the couch! Why they were surprised that a man loves working with wood is beyond me. Normally I’d be able to clean up the sawdust and no one would ever know, but this time they saw the sawdust all over the couch and refused to sit on it ever again! My wife blames herself, she said if she was home to help me then she could have caught the sawdust with a towel before it hit the couch.

Working with wood has its ups and downs. Even though sawdust ends up everywhere, stuck between pages of magazines, on the floor, all over the furniture and some even filters out over the balcony and falls on people walking down the soi. Some women don’t at all mind having sawdust clinging to their hair and all over their clothes, while others would rather keep it on the floor and off the furniture. Once though the dog rolled in the sawdust and got it all over, and then the kids played with the dog getting sawdust all over them. The wife wasn’t pleased at all and talked spent a good 30 minutes getting the kids’ hands unstuck from the dogs fur.

What size wood do you have? I never get any wood that won’t fit through my jointer. Jointers help keep your wood straight. The size of a jointer is an important consideration. Men who like to build bird houses and doll houses almost always have 2 – 4 inch jointers. Some men think bigger is better and go for the huge 10 and 12 inch jointers but have trouble finding a woman in their life willing to accommodate such a huge and heavy piece of machinery. They take up a lot of room, make a lot of noise, and can take 2 – 3 people to move it from one side of the room to the other. 6 inch jointers are very average, so I find a nice well maintained 8 inch model more to my liking. Still a beefy and impressive piece of machinery, but not so big it scares people. Very “useable.” Some say that size doesn’t matter, but I think it does.

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Are you ever too old for wood working? How do you know if you still have the necessary skills? Morning wood. Some say it’s the best type of wood and indicates good health and a happy life. If every morning you’re waking up with morning wood and wood working on your mind, then you’re either a teenager or you live in Thailand. Ever since I slept my first night in Thailand all I can think about is wood working. For a while when in the states I feared wood working was becoming a lost art. Western women especially didn’t seem that keen on wood working, but their Asian sisters are much more hands on and enthusiastic. Now, I’m back enjoying morning wood, and all aspects of the hobby.. Thank you Thailand!

Until next time..

Stickman's thoughts:

I don't know what to say…

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