For those who don't know about YouTube, it is a site where people give expert, detailed, step-by-step, instructions on how to do stuff. For example, if you want to replace the engine in your car, you can find a video on YouTube showing you exactly how to do that. My neighbor, Leon, and I were not aware of how helpful YouTube could be, until recently.
Leon cut down a double trunk pine tree that was forty feet tall. When the wind blew, the top third of the trunks would bang up against the edge of his cabin roof.
After Leon cut that tree down, he called and asked me to come over and help him remove the stump, mainly because I have a pickup truck. He told me to bring a strong rope. Within minutes of my arrival, I tied my truck to the big stump using the rope I had purchased at Wally World. I put my truck into gear, eased forward, and immediately broke my new $3.00 rope. Leon said it looks like we gonna need something stronger than a rope. We found an old logging chain that Leon had used to tie his two ten foot yachts to a tree on shore. He had replaced the old chain with a galvanized chain that wouldn't rust. His cabin is on the lake, where we go fishing.
We wrapped the big logging chain around that tree stump. I secured the other end of it to my heavy duty, solid-steel trailer hitch. Then I started the big 5.8 liter V8 engine in my 1995 Ford F-150 four-wheel drive truck. I shifted the transmission into four wheel drive low, the granny gear. When I started pulling on that stump, my truck was straining every part the factory had used to assembly that truck. Sounds were coming from my truck I'd never heard before, but the stump was not budging. Leon yelled for me to give it some more gas. I pressed down on the accelerator pedal. My truck lunged forward. I thought the stump had finally broken loose from the ground, but the chain had snapped. Part of the broken chain came through my back windshield, busting it all to pieces, before remnants of the chain shattered my rear view mirror. Luckily, the mirror saved my front windshield from a similar fate.
Leon ran up to the truck to see if I was still alive. I told Leon, right then and there, I was not going to do no more stump pulling. Shortly after that, he gave me another beer. A six pack later, Leon, called another friend of his. Supposedly, someone who had greater knowledge than Leon and I combined.
This fountain of wisdom, named Harvey, told Leon we'd never pull that stump out with a pickup truck. I was glad we got that settled. Harvey said we needed a big Caterpillar bulldozer or dynamite. Those were our only viable options to break that stump lose from the ground. Leon got depressed because none of the three of us knew anyone who owned a big bulldozer or dynamite. Fortunately, Harvey brought over some more beer to help keep our level of encouragement at an all time high.
By the time it got dark that evening, all three of us was inebriated quite a bit. We had not been able to come up with any more ideas for removing that stump. I suggested Leon carve the stump into the image of a bear and leave it in front of his cabin. Something about idea did sit well with Leon. Leon started criticizing my truck. He said my truck wasn't worth spit, if it couldn't pull out no dang pine tree stump. Softwood, he called it. There wasn't nothing soft about that tree stump.
Harvey was no help, because he was passed out in the outhouse, sitting upright, with his pants down. Once was enough for us. We'd didn't go back to check on him anymore that night. If he was gonna to die in there, so be it, Leon said he'd only known Harvey a month. Had no idea Harvey couldn't drink more six beers.
As the night progressed on, Leon and I sat on the stump drinking beer and watching the moon move across the sky. About the time the moon reached its highest point above the horizon, Leon spoiled the moment. He said my truck was so puny it probably couldn't even pull down an artificial Christmas tree. That truck had been good to me over the years so I felt like I needed to defend its honor. My swing went a bit wide. My fist landed on the outer edge of Leon's left ear lobe. Apparently, my dynamic brutal punch created hurricane force winds that knocked Leon's hearing aid loose.
Have you ever tried to find a hearing aid somewhere on the ground at night with a cigarette lighter? Sure as the world, we found it. Leon had spilled just enough gasoline earlier that day, trying to refill his chainsaw, that some of sawdust on ground caught on fire, giving us the light we desperately needed to find his hearing aid. The fire would not have been a problem, except for one minor glitch. We did not know this, until I started to stomp out the small fire with my boot. Right where I had planned to place my boot lay Leon's hearing aid. It was smoking quite a bit. We couldn't even save the battery.
Leon and I ain't talked in over a week. It stormed pretty bad and poured down rain two nights ago. That plastic I taped over my back windshield didn't hold up and my truck got wet inside, seats, dashboard, steering wheel, everything, including the remnants of that rusted chain still lying in the floorboard. Does anyone know how to take rust stains out of original factory Ford carpet?
Oh yeah, here is what finally happened with that stump. After Harvey sobered up, enough to regain consciousness, he came out of the outhouse about midnight. He yelled he had a new idea. He stumbled over to us in the dark, holding his smart phone up. We thought he was using it to light his path. No, his phone was playing a YouTube video titled, How To Remove A Stump Cheaply. The expert in the YouTube video made it look easy enough. If a woman could remove a stump that way, surely the three of us men could, too. We agreed to get it a try, but Leon, Harvey, and I needed rest and daylight before attacking that stump again.
The next day, after the three of us had consumed a dozen eggs, a pound of sausage, and drank three gallons of water, we began following the YouTube lady's instructions. Leon started up his chainsaw and made two cuts across the top of the stump, perpendicular to each other. When he got about a foot down into the stump, he stopped cutting and turned his chainsaw off. With the hard part done, we then saturated the stump with gasoline. We didn't have any charcoal lighter fluid like the woman in the video used. Finally, we lit that stump on fire using a handheld propane blowtorch like the lady showed using in her video.
I can report that our final attempt to remove the stump was successful. There is absolutely nothing left of that stump, nor of Leon's cedar-sided cabin. Have you ever tried to put out a big fire with a garden hose, connected to a shallow well that runs dry pretty quick?
Leon has moved into the storage room above my garage. Harvey is researching YouTube videos on how to build a cabin cheaply.
Leon, Harvey, and I want to thank the YouTube lady for her expert advice on how to remove a stump cheaply. If any of you have a stump you want to remove cheaply, you can find out exactly how to do it here.